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Full text of "Annual report of the superintendent of negro affairs in North Carolina, 1864 : with an appendix containing the history and management of the freedmen in this department up to June 1st, 1865"

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It is but reasonable that the people of the North, who have so liberally 
supphcd the means of alleviating the sufferings of the negroes made free by 
the war, should be permitted to receive full and official statements respect- 
ing this pecuHar interest, from those who have been entrusted with its man- 

It is to gratify their wishes, and at the same time to extend more widely 
the knowledge of these peojale's wants and condition, that this document is 
presented to the public. Believing it to be a matter of no particular impor- 
tance whether the facts are given in the form of a direct address to the read- 
er, or in the form of a Report, heretofore made to the Department Com- 
mander, the latter mode is selected, presuming that it will be more generally 
satisfactory. The results thus far attained have been reached by sheer 
experience. We had no precedents. But it is hoped that the record of 
these labors may be deemed a contribution, of some trifling value, to the 
history of a great movement, and be made of use to other workers in the 

same field. 



New Berne, North Caroi.tna, 
January 1st, 1865. 

Major George J. Carney, A. Q.3I., Siipt. Gen. of Negro Affairs, 

Department of Virginia and North Carolina. 

Sir : In this, my Annual Report, I crave your indulgence in 
making an occasional reference to events which occurred pre- 
vious to the year 1864, it being essential alike to a clear state- 
ment of facts, and a just estimate of my official labors. 

The portions of North Carolina heretofore held by our army 
have been the towns of New Berne, Beaufort, Washington, and 
Plymouth ; Hatteras Banks, from Oregon Inlet southward to 
Cape Lookout, and Roanoke Island. There is also a tract of 
debatable territory, along the route of the New Berne and Beau- 
fort Railroad, some 38 miles long, and from two to six broad, 
embracing the stations of Morehead city, Carolina city, Newport 
Barracks, Newport, Havelock, and Croatan. But the tenure of 
the soil is so uncertain in this region, on account of rebel raids 
and the incursions of guerillas, that few people reside upon it, 
except in the vicinity of the railroad stations. 

The census taken one year ago showed the colored people 
witliin our lines to be distributed as follows : 


, 1864. 

Living in New Berne and vicinity, 

. 8,591 

" " Beaufort " 



" " Washington " 


. 2,741 

" " Roanoke Island 



" " Plymouth 



" on Hatteras Banks, 







The census just completed shows them to be now located as 
follows : 

January, 1865. 
Living in New Berne and vicinity . . 10,782 
" " Beaufort " " . . 3,245 

" " Plymouth " " . . 94 

" " Roanoke Island " . . 3,091 

" on Hatteras Banks, .... 95 

Total, 17,307 

A glance at these localities and figures reveals the fact that 
gi-eat changes have occurred during the year, and thereby indi- 
cates the nature of the difficulties with which we have to con- 
tend. The fact is that nothing can be relied on in this District, 
except the certainty of change. What with confederate troops, 
guerillas, small pox and yellow fever, the negroes (and poor 
whites as well) have been tossed upon a sea of troubles, and our 
care of them has assumed a new phase almost every month. 

Many of our friends at the North do not realize how little ter- 
ritory our army holds in North Carolina. 

We control, indeed, a broad area of navigable waters, and 
command the approaches from the sea, but have scarcely room 
enough on land to spread our tents upon. Our base is three hun- 
dred miles away, at Fort Monroe ; or farther still. New York ; 
and but for a bi-weekly transport and an occasional mail we 
should be nowhere. 

The management of the Freedmen's affairs in North Carolina 
would have been more gratifying to their friends, and to ourselves 
also, if we could have operated upon a larger area. If land had 
been accessible on which to settle the negroes, it would have pre- 
vented huddling them together in the fortified towns and in tem- 
porary camps. But there was left us no alternative. Some of the 
more fearless among them did indeed venture to hire tracts of 
land a little way out of the towns, or on the " debatable terri- 
tory " along the Railroad and the Neuse, and attempt the cul- 
ture of cotton or corn, or the making of turpentine ; but it was 
done at the risk of capture, and in some instances, the experiment 
cost the poor fellows their liberty, in others, their lives. Under 
all these disadvantages and discouragements, it is a marvel that 



SO many colored men should have engaged in agriculture, or 
turpentine farming, upon lands leased of the government, through 
the Special Supervising Agent of the Treasury. It appears from 
his records that a majority of the leases given by him have been 
taken by colored persons, and the premises have varied in size 
from a single acre to a whole plantation. The negroes prefer 
turpentine farming to cotton raising, less capital being necessary, 
and the cash returns being quicker. The trees, after being boxed , 
begin to produce turpentine immediately, and the boxes are 
dipped four or five times in a season. The results of the first 
dipping being put in barrels, and sent to market before midsum- 
mer, it is not necessary to wait imtil autumn before realizing 
any gains by the operation. Negroes have hired from the Treas- 
ury Agent from 3,000 to 10,000 trees apiece. One plantation 
near Havelock, leased by a white man, contains 120,000 trees, 
and not less than 125 colored hands were employed upon it, at 
wages varying from fifteen to thirty-five dollars per mouth. On 
the Ball Plantation, near New Berne, about fifty negroes were 
given employment in raising cotton. Upon all these planta- 
tions the results were favorable, and the crops (thanks to our 
generals, who kept the rebel armies well employed elsewhere) 
were secured and marketed safely. It is impossible for me to 
give in figures the results of this labor of the freedmen. But 
this may be said, with an assurance of stating the matter within 
the bounds of truth. Two hundred and seventy-five thousand 
dollars (1275,000) were paid during the last year to colored 
employees, upon these cotton and turpentine plantations, in cash, 
or in its equivalents, clothing, food, and domestic supplies. More 
than twelve hundred laborers were thus employed, ministering 
by their toil to the support of not less than 5,000 colored people. 
When this process can be carried on in extenso, the " negro ques- 
tion " need give political economists no more perplexity. Make 
them lords of the land, and everything else will naturally follow. 
There is more land lying waste in Eastern North Carolina, than 
is needed to support, in independence, ten times the negro pop- 
ulation now within our lines. 

To present a full record of our operations during the year, the 
several localities must be taken up in detail. The headquarters 



of the District, and largest rendezvous of colored people, will 
come first under review. 


New Berne contains at present 10,782 negroes, of whom 
6,560 reside in the town, 2,708 in a freedmen's village, just 
across the Trent river, and the remainder (1,424) in the near 
vicinity of the town. Most of these people are refugees from 
slavery, not more than one sixth of them having been residents 
of New Berne before the war. They have followed our various 
military expeditions on their return to New Berne from the 
interior, or have stolen in singly, or m squads, from time to 
time. Every week makes some small addition to the number. 
The new comers often find relatives in town, who give them 
shelter until they can obtain employment, and provide them- 
selves with quarters. The able-bodied men mostly enlist. The 
families of all who enter the army are provided, by orders from 
headquarters with government rations, and it is a part of my 
duty to see that these are duly issued. n 

The following is the ration for dependent negroes. It is a tri- 
fle smaller than the soldiers' ration, embraces fewer articles, and 
costs at this time but 20 cents, while the soldiers' ration costs 

6 cents. 

Tlie Ration of Dependents and unemployed Negroes. 

10 oz. Pork or Bacon, or 1 lb. Fresh or Salt Beef. 

1 lb. Corn Meal, five times a week. 

1 lb. Flour or Soft Bread, or 12 oz. Hard Bread, twice a week. 

10 lbs. Beans, Peas, or Hominy, 8 lbs. Sugar, 2 qts. Vinegar, 
8 oz. Candles, 2 lbs. Soap, 2 lbs. Salt, 15 lbs. Potatoes, when 
practicable, to every 100 rations. 

And for women and children, 10 lbs. Coffee (Rye), or 15 oz. 
Tea, to every 100 rations. 

Thirteen hundred and fifty-one members of colored soldiers 
families are now fed in New Berne, 660 being adults, and 691 
children. The full ration, as above given, is issued to adults, and 
half rations to children under fourteen years of age. In addi- 
tion to the wives and children of soldiers, I am now supplying 


food to 2,149 persons in New Berne who are very poor, or aged, 
infirm, widows or orphans, or for other reasons dependent on the 
charity of government. This class of persons is therefore twenty- 
three per cent, of the whole number of colored people residing 
here. They are not supplied with the full " dependents' ration," 
but furnished with " necessary sustenance," in such quantities as 
they absolutely require. 

Previously to the year 1864, the colored refugees who could 
not find quarters among their friends in town, were placed in. 
camps or settlements a little out of town. Of these there were 
three, two of them being located a mile or two outside of our 
interior line of fortifications. In these two camps lived about 
1,800 people. When the rebel insurgents under Gen. Pick- 
ett attacked New Berne in February last, every man, woman, and 
child from these camps came rushing wildly into town, struck 
with fear, and feeling as keen a sense of danger as if they had 
been actually returned by force to their old masters. And why 
should they not? Our outposts were driven in, the garrison was 
weak, the gun-boat " Underwriter " was burnt by the foe right 
under the guns of our forts, and the negroes themselves were 
called to the breast-works to repel the common danger, with 
extemporized military organizations, and a hasty equipment. 
For a day or two things looked very blue hereabouts, but the 
exigency passed by with the loss of some hundreds of prisoners, 
one section of a light battery, and more brave officers and men 
than we could afford to spare. Major Gen. Peck being then 
absent on leave, the defense of the town was made by Brig. 
Gen. I. N. Palmer, who performed the task with signal ability. 
He highly complimented the negroes, who took to the trenches, 
to tlie number of 1,200, with the alacrity of old soldiers. 

This attack made it manifest that the colored people were 
not safe in their camps. A number of them were captured 
within two miles of the city, some were killed, and all driven 
from their homes. Consequently, Gen. Peck, on his return, 
ordered me to remove both these settlements, and consolidate 
the three upon the site of the one which lay w'thin our interior 
fortifications, just over the Trent River bridge. It was immedi- 
ately done. Streets were run out, and lots assigned, fifty feet 
by sixty, allowing a little garden spot to each house ; and now 


upwards of eight hundred houses are standing upon this area, 
disposed in an orderly manner, and sheltering two thousand 
seven hundred and ninety-eight freedmen. 

Of these, 1,226 receive help from the government, as depend- 
ents. The whole settlement is under charge of Mr. L. J. Howell, 
whose ability and tact make him a valuable helper in negro 
affaii's. His services, for more than two years, are deserving of 
honorable mention. 

If we must have camps, or African villages, in which tempo- 
rarily to shelter and feed refuges from bondage, this settlement, 
located healthfully on the banks of the Trent, is a model for 
imitation. Its headquarters, where reside the superintendent, 
his assistant, and some of the female teachers, its hospital build- 
ings, at one extremity, overlooking the river shore, its black- 
smith's shop, cook-houses, camp stables, and variety store, its 
comfortable dwellings, its well-filled schools and churches, its 
neatness, comfort and order, conspire to make it a happy home 
for many a panting fugitive, in which he may learn the first 
lesson of a higher social life. 

The gardens, though small, were wonderfully productive, and 
furnished for the cultivators thousands of bushels of green vegeta- 
bles. It must not be supposed that the sandy soil of Eastern North 
Carolina is a sterile soil. Though it looks unpromising, it con- 
tains an admixture of the carbonate and phosphate of lime, from 
the detritus of old shells and marine substances, which makes it 
quite productive. The white refugees in a neighboring camp, 
composed of better houses and standing on better soil, neglected 
to raise anything themselves, but purchased vegetables freely of 
the negroes. In some cases, their corn, fifteen feet high, quite 
overtopped their houses. 

On the first and second days in May, this village received an 
accession of upwards of two thousand new comers, from Little 

Our army had evacuated that post, after the fall of Plymouth, 
and the colored people, true to the instinct of liberty, followed 
the troops to New Berne and Beaufort. They quickly settled 
themselves, and seemed as happy as before. Tents were pitched 
for them at first, which were occupied until cabins could be con- 
structed of " shakes," an article well-known in this region, be- 


ing a short board, four or five feet long, split out by hand. The 
negro is always jolly, and when driven out of one home, he will 
" tote " his bmall inventory of household stuff upon his head, 
until he finds a place in which to estabhsh another. He goes 
forth like Abraham, journeying for " de promus land." The 
soldier under orders does not strike his tent with more alacrity, 
or sing with more unconcern, when he knows not where he shall 
next lay his head. 

Large numbers of white refugees, also, left their homes at the 
same time with the negroes. Many of them belonged to families 
of North Carolina soldiers in the Union army. Dr. J. W. Page, of 
the Sanitary Commission, was appointed their Supejintendent, 
and admirably has he discharged the duties of his trust. It was 
mainly through his care that these poor people were kept from 
actual starvation, so helpless were they, so totally unable to 
rally from the depression of spirits consequent upon their sudden 
change of life and their great deprivations. They have been 
dependent upon charity from that day to this. They did not 
build ther own houses, but were placed in soldiers' barracks. 
It is the testimony of Dr. Page, with whom I have had frequent 
conferences on topics connected with our kindred work, and 
who has himself resided years at the South, that the " piney 
woods " people, the " clay eaters," or whatever name be given 
to the poor whites of the South, are a more helpless and spirit- 
less race than the negroes of the same section, and indeed, natu- 
rally inferior to them. They have more pride, but less activity ; 
they make more pretension, but possess fewer mental resources. 
Being unused to labor, they know nothing of its processes, and 
are therefore incapable of self-support. From twelve to four- 
teen hundred of them have been fed by government, in Beaufort 
and vicinity, while only three or four hundred negroes have re 
ceived aid in the same sub-district, the whole number of each 
being nearly equal. In New Berne, where there are more than 
eight thousand colored refugees, but Uttle more than three thou- , 
sand eat government bread. 

But the whole body of white refugees are the nation's guests. 
This does not prove that " the negro is better than the white 
man," but rather that labor is honorable, and tends to indepen- 


Many who were at first settled in this camp have left it to 
live in town, where they can better obtain work, or to reside 
upon farms, or to migrate northward. As many as could be in- 
duced to go North, and for whom places could be found as 
household servants, have been assisted to go. But they much 
prefer to live in the warmer climate of the South. 

At the time of the evacuation of Washington, this camp con- 
tained fully four thousand people. In September last, two hun- 
dred men were taken from it, at one time, and sent to labor in 
Virginia. This, with the gradual depletion alluded to a])ove, 
leaves in it now but twenty-eight hundred residents. More than 
half of thase belong to families of men working in the Quarter- 
master's or Engineer department, or laboring on their own ac- 
count, and maintained at their own charges. Fully a thousand of 
them, however, onght to be sown thinlij upon the soil. Let our ar- 
my open the way, and we will do it in this neighborhood. If not, 
arrangements are in progress to do it elsewhere. To manage 
such a camp, and keep it orderly, tidy, and healthful, is very 
difficult, because it is against nature, opposed to the maxims of 
social economy, abnormal and unprofitable ; yet it may be tol- 
erated in disturbed times, while we fight and wait, and pray for 
peace, with enlargement and liberty. 

In the town of New Berne, within the rude triangle formed 
by the rivers Neuse and Trent on two sides, and our line of for- 
tifications on the other, are 6,560 colored people. The town 
contained in 1860, 5,482 inhabitants, white and colored. Nearly 
the whole of the white population abandoned the place before 
our army entered it. The most valuable, active, and useful of 
the slaves were compelled to accompany their masters. 

But the free blacks generally remained, not having the fear 
of " the Yankees " before their eyes. They are all self-supporting. 
Others have come in, and among them many mechanics and 
skilled laborers, so that New Berne has now a good supply of 
tradesmen, in nearly all the different branches essential to 
social prosperity. There are carpenters, caulkers, shipwrights, 
blacksmiths, masons, shoemakers, coopers, mill-wrights, engineers, 
carriage-makers, painters, barbers, tailors, draymen, grocers, 
cooks, hucksters, butchers, gardeners, fishermen, oyster-men, 
sailors, and boatmen, with the usual supply of doctors and 


preachers. Some of these people are becoming rich ; all are 
doing well for themselves, even in these times. They evince a 
capacity for business, and exhibit a degree of thrift and shrewd- 
ness, which are ample security for their future progress, if they 
are allowed an equal chance with their fellow-men. 

In order to obtain some facts upon which I might estimate 
the amount of earnings to be credited to these free and freed 
people, I posted a handbill in New Berne, requesting such 
colored people as were not employed by government, but were 
pursuing some trade, profession, or calling on their own 
account, to report at my office the amount of their income or 
earnings during the year 1864. The result will interest the 
friends of the ucgro, and indicate their ability to support them- 

Three hundred and five persons, nearly all males, made 
returns in response to my request, reporting a gross amount of 
one hundred and fifty-one thousand five hundred and sixty-two 
dollars, (151,562.) 

The number reporting from $500 to $1,000 income was 110. 

" " " upwards of 1,000 " " 18. 

« « « « " 2,000 " " 4. 

« « " « " 3,000 " " 2. 

The largest income reported was $3,150. This was derived 

from the turpentine business, as indeed were most of the larger 

incomes reported, which varied from 300 to more than 3,000 

dollars. The average of all the incomes reported is $496.92, a 

trifle short of five hmidred dollars. 

It is common for newspapers at the North, to print the names 
of a few of those whose incomes are the largest ; but as there is 
no local newspaper here ready to perform this service for the 
freedmen, I shall be compelled to do it in this Report. 

George Hargate, turpentine farmer, . . . $3,000 
Ned Huggins, tar and turpentine, . . . 3,150 
E. H. Hill, " missionary and trader," . . . 2,000 
W. A. Ives, carpenter and grocer, . . . 2,400 
George Gordon, turpentine, ..... 1,500 
Adam Hymen, " .... 1,300 

Samuel Collins, dry goods and groceries, . . 1,200 
Benjamin Whitefield, grocery and eating house, . 1,500 












Hasty Chadwick, turpentine, ..... $1,000 

Limber Lewis, staves, wood, and shingles, . . 1,500 

George Physic, grocer, ...... 1,500 

Sylvester Mackay, undertaker, .... 1,000 

Charles Bryan, carter, 1,000 

John H. Heath, shoemaker, .... 1,000 

William Long, lumberman, ..... 1,200 

John Bryan, cotton farming, .... 1,100 

Hogan Cancdy, cooper and tarmaker, . . . 1,000 

Danzey Heath, grocer and baker, . . . 1,500 

The average income reported by the barbers, is . $675 

" blacksmiths, 468 
" masons, . . 402 
" carpenters, . 510 
" grocers, . . 678 
" coopers, . 418 
" " " " " turpentine farmers, 446 

To offset these more thrifty people, with whom I have had 
officially nothing to do but to rejoice in their prosperity, there 
exists another class, and it is at present and must be for some 
time to come much the larger one, who by dint of perseverance 
and industry earn a few dollars every month, and would be glad 
to support themselves in independence. They are not wanting 
in self-respect, and scorn to be beggars. But their few dollars 
will not feed and clothe them at sutlers' and Jews' prices. If 
they could purchase a comfortable garment for three dollars, 
they would wear it out in honest pride, and have a dime left for 
the daily loaf, and a trifle for bacon and corn meal. But if they 
must pay ten dollars for the garment, nothing remains for them 
but to suffer hunger, or to beg. 

Philanthropy can do no better thing for people in such a con- 
dition, than to furnish them the necessaries of life, and to some 
extent, its comforts, not as a gift, but by purchase, at low rates. 

Some persons, who know about as little of the principles of 
political economy as they do of the pure spirit of religion, are 
ready to charge with covetousness and extortion the persons 
who come out to do good to the oppressed, and bring them things 
to sell ! 



T^ey ought to know that he who brings the essentials of life 
to the door of the poor, at prices within their reach, putting it 
in their power to live within their scanty income, has done more 
for them, very much more, than has he who feeds and clothes 
them as a gratuity. He has satisfied their wants, and at the 
same time stimulated their better nature. He has done that 
which promotes their manhood, instead of inviting them to be 

It is with this end in view that we have established a cheap 
store for the colored people, where those who are utterly desti- 
tute, the refugees newly arrived, the sick, the infirm, and young 
children who are orphans, may receive freely from our stores, 
to the full extent of their need ; but where those who have a 
little money in their purses may make it largely available, in 
answering the questions, what shall we eat, and wherewithal 
shall we be clothed ? 

The goods which have been sent us for donation by the .vari- 
ous Freedmen's Societies, and by benevolent individuals at the 
North, have been here unpacked and sorted, and such as were 
consigned to me have been distributed by gift, or sale, accord- 
ing to the condition and needs of each individual applicant. 
This process requires at once judgment, penetration, firmness, 
and great kindness, on the part of those who engage in it. 

This District has been fortunate in having at the head of this 
branch Mr. Horatio Leavitt, of Boston, a gentleman who com- 
bines these qualities in an eminent degree, and who, with his 
worthy associates, Mr. John B. Bonnell, and Mrs. Lucretia W. 
Johnson, has managed this business admirably. 

The gratuitous distribution of clothing during the whole win- 
ter and spring, was made in person by Miss Eliza P. Perkins, of 
Norwich, Ct., a lady whose cheerful benevolence of heart led her 
to devote her energies, without compensation, and most untir- 
ingly, to this perplexing and difficult work. 

The donations made from this office, during the colder 
months, were as follows : 

In January 1864, 4,120 garments, valued at $2,351.25 
" February " 3,917 " " 1,986.45 

" March " 2,514 " " 1,386.70 

« April " 2,091 " " 1,853.10 


Some of these were sent to other towns and posts in this Dis- 
trict, many were used in supplying the sufferers from small pox, 
many went to hospitals, and many were given to men, women 
and children, who timidly approached our picket lines, faint, 
weary, tattered, their rags pinned together with thorns, their 
feet and heads bare, or half concealed by some grotesque apol- 
ogy for shoe or hat. These would seem to be the proper sub- 
jects for charity. 

A portion of the gratuitous distribution, and an increasing 
one of late, has been done by the teachers of colored schools, to 
whom their friends have sent out boxes of clothing, new or old, 
with which they have aided especially the pupils of their schools. 
Garments for females and children are principally in demand. 

Supplies, both for gratuities and sales, have been liberally 
sent to this District by the Freedmen's Associations at Boston, 
New York, and Philadelphia. The National Freedmen's Relief 
Association has mainly supplied the miscellaneous goods for 
sale to these people. To their generous kindness we are largely 
indebted for clothing, new and second hand, and for mechanical 
tools, garden seeds, school books and school furniture of various 
kinds, nails, glass, sashes, stoves, hardware, earthen ware, gro- 
ceries and dry goods. 

The sales during the year did not fall short of $ 25,000,00. 
If transportation for the goods had been more readily procurable 
at New York, they would have been largely in advance of this 
figure. The funds derived from this source, beyond what were 
necessary to pay the wages of the three persons managing the 
business, were returned to the Freedmen's Societies for reinvest- 
ment, or put into a fund which is devoted scrupulously to the 
use and advantage of the colored people. In pursuing the pol- 
icy indicated above, we have often given away articles which 
were furnished us for sale, and sometimes have sold goods which 
were sent for gratuitous distribution. We have been guided by 
this one rule : " What will promote the highest welfare of these 
people ?" and in its application have ased the best judgment we 
could summon on the spot. 

The military authorities and Treasury Agents have permit- 
ted these supplies to come to the District, in government trans- 
ports, without the usual charge of three per cent, for internal 


revenue. As they were furnished by our friends at cost, and 
usually purchased very low by taking advantage of fluctuations 
in the market, we have been able to dispose of them at a large 
discount from the ruling prices in New Berne. 

Still another branch of my operations in aid of the freedmen 
during the last year, was furnishing commissary stores or ra- 
tions to government employees, on certificates of indebtedness 
from their employers, with which to feed their families until 
pay-day came. The wages of perhaps two thousand colored men, 
employed liy quartermasters, engineers, &c., on behalf of the 
government, were from four to six months in arrears. For the 
laborers themselves rations were furnished, but their wives and 
children had nothing to eat, and nothing with which to buy 
food. Under these circumstances, I was permitted, hj the com- 
manding General, to buy food, in bulk, of the chief commissary, 
for cash, and furnish it to these people on credit, taking the risk 
of being reimbursed when they should be paid off. These pur- 
chases reached the sum of ten thousand dollars. As is the case 
in most philanthropic transactions, the reward came in the satis- 
faction of having extended timely relief, but with pecuniary loss 
to the agents. The death of some parties, and the removal of 
others to Virginia and elsewhere, will leave the account several 
hundred dollars deficient. The wages of most of these men do 
not exceed ten dollars per month, and rations, and they rely 
upon them for the support of their families. If payment be de- 
layed, they are reduced to straits. 

After the passage by Congress of the bill permitting the en- 
listment in rebel states of soldiers to be counted upon the 
quota of the loyal states enlisting them, the city of New Berne 
was flooded with recruiting agents, and able-bodied negroes 
were in great demand. But of the 250 who were enlisted from 
this District, and who were said to have received heavy bounties, 
few present any appearance of having been thus furnished. Their 
families are nearly as dependent on the Government for food as 
if no bounty had been offered or paid, suggesting the suspicion 
that the money found its way into the wrong pocket. While some 
of the recruiting agents in North Carolina were persons of integ- 
rity and honor, gentlemen in every sense of the word, it is not 
too much to say that others were scoundrels of the deepest dye, 


who left the District enriched with ill-gotten gains, filched by 
fraud from the ignorant poor, who became the easy dupes of 
their knavery. 

Of the three great scourges of mankind, famine, pestilence, 
and war, this District has suffered severely from two, the past 
year. If under these disadvantages the colored people have ac- 
complished anything for themselves, the fact is promising for 
the days of peace and liberty which are yet to come. 

During the winter, small pox raged fearfully, and in the au- 
tumn, yellow fever swept our city with the besom of destruc- 
tion. The former disease proved more fatal to the blacks, the 
latter to the whites. In February, full fifty per week died of 
small pox, and in October nearly as many per day, of yellow 
fever. The small pox was not arrested until the hospital for its 
treatment had been removed across the river Neuse, and the 
patients separated from all possible intercourse with their friends. 
It was difficult to make them report new cases. They would 
frequently conceal those attacked with it under blankets and 
beds, and hide them in their houses, even after dissolution had 
taken place, so gregarious are they, as they burrow together in 
their filthy cabins, so ignorant are they of the value of skilful 
medical treatment. This is the sum of a negro's ailments — he 
has a " right smart misery " somewhere ; and his materia medica 
consists of roots, herbs, and castor oil ! It became necessary to 
burn the clothing and many of the houses of the colored people 
who were attacked with this loathsome disease. Those of them 
who went to hospital were made comfortable, were skilfully 
treated, carefully nursed, and furnished, on leaving, with a new 
suit of clothes throughout ; yet they preferred to die in rags at 
home, rather than go to hospital. But for the timely benefac- 
tions at that time received from the " Friends" in Philadelphia, 
and from the American Missionary Association, hundreds of 
these convalescents would have been naked and penniless. 

Of the yellow fever, in September, October, and November, my 
report need not speak officially, except so far as it reached the 
colored population, and affected the management of negro af- 
fairs. My office, like those of other officers, was despoiled, and 
depleted. My chief clerk, James G. Gardner, of Boston, was 
among the earlier victims ; my assistant at Beaufort, Mr. Charles 


Page, of Danvers, Mass., soon followed ; and later, my two 
clerks, Joseph C. and Nathaniel P. Low, of Tewksbury, Mass., 
brothers, and the only sons of their sorrowing parents, were re- 
moved by death. One was attacked with the fever ; the other 
sped to his side with affectionate ministrations, took the disease, 
and died within twenty-four hours of his brother. 

Samuel G. Champney, of Grafton, Mass., a private of the 25th 
Mass. Reg't, and a man of most estimable character, who had 
been more than a year my transportation clerk, having the 
fever upon him, but believing himself better, went north, only to 
expire in the harbor of New York, and find a grave on Staten 
Island. The plague also robbed us of one of our beloved teach- 
ers, Miss Elizabeth M. Tuttle, of Boston, commissioned by the 
N. E. Freedmen's Aid Society, but supported by Jas. M. Bar- 
nard, Esq., of Boston. She was a person of lovely character 
and fine accomplishments. With fearless and untiring zeal, 
she devoted herself to the care of another, who recovered under 
her tender nursing, while she fell a sacrifice to her devotion. 

Fortunately for the colored people, my own health was perfect 
during the whole period in which the town was under embargo ; 
my office help being reduced to two clerks. On the 26th of Octo- 
ber, my turn came to struggle with the pestilence, but an assis- 
tant returned that very day who was able to carry the business 
along. Probably not less than 2,500 deaths occurred from yel- 
low fever and kindred malarial maladies, of which full 1,500 
were of white persons. As many as one in four of the white 
population of New Berne went under the sod in the short 
space of six weeks. 

The town, deserted, forsaken, shut out from intercourse with 
the world, unprovided with things essential to the comfort of 
the sick or the sustenance of the well, all business suspended, 
except the undertaker's, shutters closed, and troops forbidden to 
enter, left the colored people in a condition peculiarly helpless. 
But the duties and routine of my office were not for one day 

Brig. Gen. Harland was at this trying time in command, and 
faithfully did he maintain the order and welfare of the city. 
He smnmoned the colored troops to do guard duty in town, and 
attend to the burial of the dead. They shrank not from the 



task. Fortunate indeed were we in securing their valuable ser- 
vices. The city of New Berne did not contain, at this time, 
white people enough in a state of health to inter its own dead 
with the forms of Christian burial. As it was, not a few were 
left to die alone, and were carried to the grave without a friend 
to follow the hearse, or listen to the service. It was my mourn- 
ful privilege, at this time, to conduct funeral solemnities at the 
grave of many a brave officer, and many a dear friend. May a 
kind Providence shield us another season from the poisonous 
breath of such a pestilence. It is more terri])le than a battle, 
for one is exposed to an equal danger, but is sustained by no 
sublime exhilaration. 

The management of negro affairs' in this District is especially 
laliorious^ because the points we hold are so far removed from 
one another. 

From New Berne to Beaufort is 38 miles. 
" " " Hatteras Inlet, 90 miles. 

" " " Washington, 90 miles. 

" " " Roanoke Island, 130 miles. 

« " " Plymouth, 200 miles. 

These distances, except the first named, are computed by the 
water route, the only way open to us. The distance overland 
from New Berne to Washington is but 30 miles, and to Ply- 
mouth it is 70 in the same direction. The army has never kept 
open communication between these places by land, so much 
easier and safer is the water route, by the beautiful rivers and 
sounds which gird this " evergreen shore." In the article of 
time, especially in the winter season, when storms prevail and 
winds are, high, this wide separation of posts is a serious draw- 


Between New Berne and Beaufort is kept up a more intimate 
connection than between any other two posts we occupy. This 
is owing to the railroad communication and the daily train. 
The terminus of the road is two miles short of the town, at 
Morehead city, on the northern side of the ship-channel which 
sweeps in at Old Topsail Inlet, past the guns of Fort Macon. All 


that appertains to Morehead which resembles a city is its name. 
It consists of two or three large hotels, a General Hospital, some 
Commissary and Quartermaster's store-houses, a few private resi- 
dences, and four or five hundred inhabitants. But it is a capi- 
tal business location, wonderfully healthy, having been a sum- 
mer watering-place for the people of this State, and destined to 
be, after the war, an important entrepot of commerce with the 

At Beaufort and Morehead reside at present fifteen hundred 
and ninety-three (1,593) colored people. Between the two 
places ply large numbers of small boats, meeting every train of 
cars, and beating to and fro in every breeze. They run also to 
Fort Macon, Shackleford Banks, the Lighthouse, Harker's Is- 
land, and elsewhere, there being no other means of locomotion 
in this entire region. Hence the negro is here an aquatic ani- 
mal, and takes to the water almost as readily as the sea fowl that 
abound in this vicinity. Not less than one hundred men are 
constantly employed in boating, this business being wholly in the 
hands of the negroes. And a remunerative calling it proves to 
be, indeed. It would be safe to say that the earnings of each 
boat are, on an average, three dollars a day. It requires two men 
to manage one boat, and their snug little income is more than a 
thousand dollars a year, or upwards of five hundred apiece. 
This would be reduced one half in case they sailed the boat on 
shares, as some of them do, for a white owner. It may be set 
down that the freedmen of Beaufort, North Carolina, earn a 
thousand dollars a week, or fifty thousand dollars a year, in this 
neat* business. A pretty sight it is to see the fleet set sail from 
Morehead, after the arrival of a train. In sailing around the 
points, over the shoals and through the " sloos," it is much like a 
spirited regatta, repeated every day. 

Many others of the people are employed in oystering and fish- 
ing, for which the locality is favorable. The mullet, sea-trout, 
sheep's-head, and blue-fish of these waters are delicious. 

Less than three hundred colored persons receive assistance 
from Government in Beaufort and vicinity, a fact which well 
illustrates the industry of the remainder. Some people are loud 
in their complaints that the Government should feed so many 
negroes. What have they to say to its feeding twelve or fourteen 


hundred icliite refugees, upon tins limited area, while four out 
of five of the black refugees have found self-supporting employ- 
ment ? 

My observation in this State has led me to the conclusion 
that, of those who are equally poor and equally destitute, the 
white person will be the one to sit down in forlorn and languid 
helplessness, and eat the bread of charity, while the negro will 
be tinkering at something, in his rude way, to hammer out a 

Carteret County, of which Beaufort is the shiretown, extends 
from Bogue Sound on the south to the Neuse river on the north. 
Several small streams which take their rise in this county flow 
northward into the Neuse ; and among ihem are Adam's Creek 
and Clumfort's Creek, Along the course and near the mouth 
of these creeks, are settled nearly a thousand colored people, 
who have been free for years, and who are among the most 
active, intelligent, and enterprizing colored people I have seen 
in the South. Some of them own large tracts of land and are 
esteemed wealthy. They deal largely in turpentine. They are 
a people who have proved the value of freedom, even with such 
poor experience of it as they have known under a slave code, 
and in a State where it was a crime to teach a servant to read. 

Deeming one of these localities a good position for a school, 
efforts were made in that direction, and with good success. 
Within the shelter of the tall turpentine trees at Clumfort's 
Creek, far out in the wilderness, where no point of bayonet could 
ffuard it, rose the Puritan school-house. The American Mission- 
ary Association had posted its advanced picket here in the person 
of Rev. George W. Greene, who had no sooner established this 
northern institution than it was entered and occupied by a cul- 
tured lady, whom the New England Freedmen's Aid Society 
sent out from Boston. This was Mrs.' Carrie E. Croome. The 
rebels had slain her noble husband while in command of his 
battery at South Mountain, and she would avenge his untimely 
death by teaching the ignorant negroes how to throw off the 
yoke which those dastardly rebels had put upon their necks. 
This was the sublime retaliation of the gospel. But how was it 

The sight of a " nigger school-house " was more than the 


chivalry could bear. It had not been occupied many weeks in 
quietness, before three ruffians, calling themselves " confederate 
soldiers," but really guerillas, appeared in the night time, set the 
school-house on fire, rudely summoned Mrs. Croome from her 
house adjoining it, and bade her hasten away before that also 
should be given to the flames. They threatened her with vio- 
lence, and tried to extort the promise that she woiild never 
again teach " niggers " to read. But she bore herself with 
dignity and calmness, and so escaped their power. The loss of 
clothing, books, school furniture, and other property is slight, 
compared with the calamity which despoiled these people, hun- 
gering and thirsting after knowledge, of the instruction they 
prized so highly. They were indignant, angry, and sorrowful by 
turns, and are more than ever determined that the school-house 
shall stand amid their forest homes, and that their children shall 
drink at the fountains of knowledge. The indefatigal)le Mis- 
sionary Association has sent out the same agent, well furnished 
with materials, to rebuild at Clumfort's Creek the temple of 
learning. It will soon rise from its ashes. And not a few of the 
negroes have purchased muskets, ivith ivhich to dispute the 7'ight 
of the burglar and the assassin, ivhen again he comes that way. 

Could anything be more significant than is this incident, of 
the spirit which animates on the one side the Union legions, and 
on the other the Confederate troops ? The one diffuse knowl- 
edge, the other enforce ignorance ; one would make the whole 
land bright with liberty and love, the other would pollute it 
with deeds of darkness and violence, and stain it with the blood 
of slaves. 


Within a month after assuming the Superintendency of the 
Blacks in North Carolina, I was ordered by Major General 
J. G. Foster, then commanding the Department, to establish a 
colony of negroes upon Roanoke Island. The good or ill success 
of this experiment ought to be credited as well to the mind 
which originated the enterprize, as to those who were entrusted 
with its execution. It was General Foster's purpose to settle 
colored people on the unoccupied lands, and give them agricul- 
tural implements and mechanical tools to begin with, and to 


train and educate them for a free and independent community, 
It was also a part of his plan to arm and drill them for self- 

This was in May, 1863. The bill to enlist colored soldiers 
did not pass Congress until the 16th of July following. 

Before th : close of that year, so rapid was the growth of pub- 
lic opinion, General Butler declared m General Order No. 46, 
" The recruitment of colored troops has become the settled pur- 
pose of the Government." The hardy young negroes of Roanoke 
were among the first to answer the country's call. Here was 
fought the battle which initiated the successes of the Burnside 
Expedition. And in this battle, musket in hand, pressing hard 
toward the front, were to be seen some of these very young men. 
Having lielped to drive the oppressor from their own island 
home, they were equally ready to strike for the deliverance of 
the nation. Gloriously have they since maintained themselves 
at Fort Wagner and Olustee. 

Colored soldiers were first recruited here by Brig. Gen. E. A. 
Wild, on the 19th day of June, 1863. They freely and enthu- 
siastically volunteered, to the number of nearly one hundred. 
The writer recollects spending one whole night with General 
Wild, in adjusting, on Quartermaster's papers, the accounts of 
these soldiers against the Government for previous labor, which 
accounts have not been settled to the present day. 

This was the first company of colored troops raised in North 
Carolina, and so far as I know, the first in the country. Since 
that time a recruiting officer has resided at the island, and a 
large number from this locality have joined the army. 

This removal of the vigorous young men, who would have 
worked upon the soil, and fished in the Sounds for the support 
of the colony, necessarily changed the character of the enter- 
prize, converting it into an asylum for tlie wived and children 
of soldiers, and also for the aged and infirm, where the children 
might be educated, and all, both young and old, be trained for 
freedom and its responsibilities, after the war. 

For such an asylum our forces held no other suitable or safe 
place in the State, Not a square mile of territory (excepting 
Hatteras Banks,) lying outside of the interior fortifications of 
New Berne, Beaufort, and Morehead, but has been repeatedly 


over-run by rebels and guerillas during the past year. Even 
Roanoke Island was seriously threatened for a few days, when 
the Ram Albermarle seemed about to take possession of the 

I went North in June, 1863, under orders from Gen. Foster, 
to procure materials and implements with which to furnish the 
projected colony with an outfit, and in a few weeks raised in New 
England and New York between eight and nine thousand dol- 
lars. It was most cheerfully given, and the donations were 
accompanied with many expressions of good-will towards the 
work, and of hearty interest in the colored people. Especially 
did the Freedmen's Associations at Boston and New York ren- 
der efficient aid. 

While this work of soliciting funds was in progress at the North, 
Gen. E. A. Wild received orders from Gen. Foster, to take pos- 
session of, and assign to the negroes, the unoccupied and unim- 
proved lands of the island, layiiig them out in suitable lots for 
families. He sent thither Serj't George 0. Sanderson (late of the 
43d Mass. Reg't) as Assistant Superintendent, who made the pre- 
liminary surveys, and opened the first broad avenue of the new 
African town. Mr. Sanderson remained at this post until Oc- 
tober, 1864, when he received a Lieutenant's commission in a reg- 
iment of colored troops, and went to the front. 

I returned from the North in July, 1863, accompanied by 
female teachers, and furnished with large supplies, to find that 
Gen. Wild had been ordered, with his negro troops, to Charles- 
ton, S. C. He left New Berne on the 30th of July, with his 
brigade of 2,154 men — and among them, the flower of Roanoke 
Island — bearing the beautiful banner of the Republic which had 
been presented by the colored ladies of New Berne to the First 
North Carolina Regiment, Col. James C. Beccher. 

Gen. Wild being no longer able to act in North Corolina, Maj. 
Gen. J. J. Peck, at the suggestion of Gen. Foster, issued the fol- 
lowing order, devolving upon me the duty of superintending 
the organization of Roanoke Island, and conferring more ample 


( Headquartebs Aemy and District of North Carolina, 
Genera' Orders ) \ New Berne, N. C, Sepl. 10, 1SG3. 

No. la. I 

In accordance with the views of the Major General command- 
ing the Department of Virginia and North Carolina, Chaplain 
Horace James, Superintendent of Blacks for the District of 
North Carolina, will assume charge of the colonization of Roan- 
oke Island with negroes. 

The powers conferred upon Brig. Gen. Wild, by General Or- 
ders No. 103, Headquarters Department of North Carolina, 
18th Army Corps, are hereby transferred to Chaplain James. 
He will take possession of all unoccupied lands upon the island, 
and lay them out, and assign them, according to his own discre- 
tion, to tlie families of colored soldiers, to invalids, and other 
Blacks in the employ of the Government, giving them full 
possession of the same, until annulled by the Government or 
by due process of United States law. The authority of Chai> 
lain James will be respected in all matters relating to the well- 
fare of the colony. 

By command of Major General Peck, 

Benj. B. Foster, Assist. Adj't General. 

The work was now prosecuted with vigor, though with little 
outside aid for some time. With compass, chart, and chain, and 
a gang of choppers, the old groves of pine, gum, holly, and cy- 
press, were penetrated, crossed and re-crossed, and the upper, 
or northern, end of the island was laid out in acre lots, and at 
once assigned to families. Nothing could exceed the enthusi- 
asm of these simple people, when they found themselves in pos- 
session of a spot they could call their own. 

To be absolute owners of the soil, to be allowed to build upon 
their own lands cabins, however humble, in which the}^ should 
enjoy the sacred priveleges of a home, was more than they had 
ever dared to pray for. It was affecting to hear the old men 
and women declare how fervently they blessed the Lord, that 
their eyes were permitted to see this unexpected sight. The 
woods now began to ring with blows from the woodman's axe, 
and to gleam at night with the fires which consumed the refuse 
vegetation, swept oif in clearing the forests. 

It was never intended to give these people farms at Roanoke, 


but only a homestead, and a garden spot for each family. There 
were sufficient reasons for tliis, in that the island is not large 
enough to divide into farms for any considerable number of peo- 
ple. The land is not rich enough for profitable farming, though 
it will produce vegetables, grapes, and other fruit, in abundance 
and variety. And again, invalids, aged people, and soldiers' wives 
and children, could not be expected to improve more than a sin- 
gle acre. This was the plan of the settlement. Broad, straight 
avenues were laid out, 1,200 feet apart, up and down the island, 
nearly parallel with its shores and parallel with one another, 
which were named " Roanoke Avenue," " Lincoln Avenue," 
" Burnside Avenue," &c. At right angles with these were streets, 
somewhat narrower than the avenues, and 400 feet apart, num- 
bered "First Street," "Second Street," &c., &c., in one direc- 
tion from a certain point, and "A Street," "B Street," &c., in the 
other direction. 

This arrangement divided the land into parallelograms, or 
sections, containing each twelve one acre lots, square in form, 
every one having a street frontage. Along these the houses were 
disposed, being placed in line, and all at the same distance from 
the street. The lots were neatly enclosed, and speedily im- 
proved by the freedmen, soon making " the wilderness and 
the solitary place glad " at their coming. Wives and children 
with alacrity united with the men in performing the work of 
the carpenter, the mason, and the gardener. So zealous were 
they in this work, as to spend, in many cases, much of the night 
in prosecuting it, giving no sleep to their eyes until they could 
close them sweetly, under their own dear roof-tree. 

A good supply of lumber being indispensable when one would 
build a town, I purchased at the North a valuable steam-engine 
and saw-mill, thus using the larger portion of the funds which 
had been secured in aid of the freedmen. But as the mill 
could not be made immediately available, logs and boards split 
by hand were used at first, and chimneys of the Southern style 
were constructed of sticks and clay. A few sawed boards for 
floor, door, and window, were sometimes obtained in a boat ex- 
pedition across the Sound, to Nagg's Head, Oregon Inlet, or 
Croatan, and thus their mansions were completed. A proud 
day was it for Mingo, or Luck, or Cudjoe, when he could 


survey his home as a thing accompUshed, and sit at night l)y 
its blazing firelight, and see the dark shadows of his wife and 
children dance upon the cabin w^all. i\jid this, too, in a Slave 
State ! his old master living, perhaps, at the south end of the is- 
land ! Listen to his song : 

" De yar ob Juberlo am come ! " 

Major Gen. B. F. Butler, on succeeding to the command of 
the Department, issued that important order No 46, organizing 
the Department of Negro Afi'airs, confirming the doings of his 
predecessor, and providing, with a wonderful prescience, for all 
the exigencies likely to occur in the enrolment, employment, 
support and care of the colored people. Under tliis regime, the 
work at Roanoke prospered more and more. 

At one time, during the winter of 1863-4, there was a degree 
of suffering on the island from insufficient shelter. This was 
when a thousand or fifteen hundred persons at one time were 
sent there by Gen. Wild, now returned from the South, the 
result of a raid through the northern counties of the State. But 
the new comers were soon domiciliated, as comfortably as their 
predecessors had been before. 

The number of colored people now on the island, as ascer- 
tained by the recent census, is three thousand and ninety-one 
(3,091). Of these, 1,295 are males, and 1,796 females ; 1,297 are 
children under fourteen years of age, of whom 710 are girls, and 
687 boys ; 1,794 are fourteen years of age or upwards, of whom 
708 are males, and 1,086 females : of these 708 males, only 217 
are between the years of 18 and 45, the proper military age, and 
the larger portion of these, even, are exempts on account of phy- 
sical disability, showing that 491, or seventy per cent, of the adult 
males, are either in the immature period of youth, or in the de- 
cline of life. 

These statistics indicate, with sufficient clearness, what maybe 
expected of these people, and what is, at present, their indus- 
trial force. 

If remunerative employment could be given to the women 
and older children, it would be a blessing to them. Household 
cares do not sit heavily upon people who live in almost primi- 
tive simplicity. 


Some kind of domestic manufacturing, supplied to them as a 
regular business, would not only train them to habits of industry, 
but raise them above the level of mere field hands. To substi- 
tute an occupation which requires skill, and taxes ingenuity, for 
one which is coarse and plodding, is to confer a lasting benefit. 
In this view spinning and wea\dng have been encouraged. Some 
of the better mechanics on the island have manufactured spin- 
ning wheels for sale, doing it without the use of a lathe, and mak- 
ing a very good article. Many of the women can card, spin, and 
weave. They might succeed in willow work, if the material 
could be easily procured. I have had a quantity of osier wil- 
low slips planted on Roanoke, hoping to introduce, by and by, 
this species of industrial labor. The Friends in Philadelphia, 
among their many benefactions to the negroes in this District, 
have sent out some complete sets of shoemakers' tools, the use 
of which is understood by several of the freedmen on the is- 
land. The same is true of coopers' tools, and to a much larger 
extent ; for the turpentine business, the leadnig pecuniary in- 
terest of North Carolina, has made them familiar with the 
making and mending of barrels. It is common to find col- 
ored men acquainted with splitting and shaving shingles, and 
not a few are constantly engaged in this business, selling them 
at from 13.00 to 17.00 per thousand. 

The negro always builds his own house. Set him down where 
trees grow, give him an axe, a saw, a hammer, and twenty 
pounds of nails, and in a month his house is done. Let some 
disturbance of the times drive him from his cabin, and when 
he has found an eligible spot, he will erect another, and 
another. An old Roanoke negro told me he had built eight 
houses for himself on his master's plantation. His heartless 
lord would give him a building spot, and suffer him to live 
there until he had cleared the land around his dwelling, and 
then would drive him out, to repeat the process in a new location. 

Like all people who live near navigable waters, the negroes at 
Roanoke are fond of boats, and know how to manage them. 
Some few of them are respectable boat builders. About one 
hundred of the most active men on the island are employed in 
Government work, by the Quartermaster and Commissary of 
the Post. Some two hundred more have been kept at work a 


large portion of the year upon the fortifications of the island. 
More than one hundred were sent, in September last, to Bermuda 
Hundred, to labor upon " Dutch Gap Canal " and elsewhere. 

These occupations, with the toil expended upon their own premi- 
ses, have kept the men generally employed, and given to the colony 
an aspect of industry. The few, in every community, who are 
incorrigibly lazy, and who deliberately intend to eat their bread 
in the sweat of another's face, undoubtedly have their represen- 
tatives here. Considering the antecedents of these people, who 
can wonder at it ? 

Roanoke Island is favorably located for carrying on fisheries, 
especially of herring, mullet, blue-fish, and shad. These have 
heretofore furnished one of the principal means of subsistence 
to the inhabitants. Pre^^arations were made to pursue this 
business for the advantage of the colony ; but the shad season 
in 1864 was much less productive than usual, the nets being 
broken and destroyed by ice and storms in the early spring. 

Mr. Holland Streeter was entrusted with the charge of this 
business, and has pursued it, with a small gang of fishermen, 
through the year. Up to Jan. 1st, 1865, the income of the fish- 
eries, as reported by Mr. Streeter, was $1,404.27. It is expected 
to be much larger during the approaching season, if the elements 
prove propitious. 

The mill before alluded to was substantially erected, near 
the military Headquarters of the island, during the spring and 
early summer, and has now been for several months in success- 
ful operation. Tiie engine is of seventy horse-power, carrying 
several circular saws, a turning lathe, and a grist mill. Its 
capacity to produce different styles of lumber, and to convert 
grain into the form so widely used by the negroes, and indeed 
by all the Southern people for food, makes it a positive addition 
to the wealth and resources of the island, and as valual)le to the 
whites as to the blacks. The officers of the Government, the 
troops, the attaches of the army, the white natives, and the ne- 
groes, are sharing alike in the benefits of this Northern institution. 
Thus do enterprise, thrift, and productiveness enter the gates 
which have been opened by the demon of war. On the 7th day 
of February, 1862, the very spot where now stands this peaceful 
engineery of labor was enveloped in the smoke of contending 


fleets and armies, and shot and shell plowed madly through the 

Efforts to educate the sable colonists were nearly commensu- 
rate in time with the material improvments made. 

A pioneer teacher from the North landed on the Island, Oct. 
19tli, 1863, and for more than three months labored alone and 
unattended, living in one log cabin, and teaching in another, 
with most commendable zeal and self-denial. 

This was Miss Elizabeth James, a lady sent out by the Amer- 
ican Missionary Association. On the 25th of January, 1864, Miss 
Ella Roper arrived, who was followed, on the 20th of February, 
by Mr. S. S. Nickerson, and a little later, by Miss Mary Burnap, 
transferred from a school in New Berne. 

After the fall of Plymouth, and the flight of our teachers from 
that locality, Mrs. Sarah P. Freeman, and her daughter, Miss 
Kate Freeman, took up their abode upon the island. Mrs. Free- 
man and Miss James remained through the summer vacation, 
and did great good in ministering, as judicious matrons, to the 
various wants of the islanders. Since the schools were re- 
opened, the corps of teachers has been enlarged by the addition 
of Miss Esther Williams and Mrs. Nickerson to the number. 
The wants of the island are not yet fully supplied. Besides the 
1,297 children under fourteen years of age, many of the adults 
are eager to be taught to read and write, and will not be denied. 
Add to this the distribution of donated clothing, visitation of the 
sick, writing letters for the women to their husbands or sons in 
the army, and their own domestic cares, and one may readily 
decide whether from ten to twenty dollars per month, would 
tempt teachers to do this work, in banishment and obloquy, if their 
minds were not glowing with enthusiasm, and their hearts pene- 
trated with benevolent love. The colony would have been more 
promptly supplied with schools but for the want of suitable 
school rooms and quarters for teachers. The only abandoned 
house on the island was fitted up for a teacher's home, and will 
accomodate five or six. Its former occupant is in the rebel 
army. Since the mill began to produce lumber, school-houses 
and teachers' quarters have been, or are being, erected, suflQcient 
for all our purposes. 

An Industrial School and an Orphan Asylum have been 


projected, and will be built, it is hoped, during the present 

An attempt was made, early in the year, to give the colonists 
an idea of governing themselves. A " council " of fifteen lead- 
ing individuals was appointed, and instructed to meet and con- 
sult for the common welfare, and be a mediiim through which the 
rules and orders of the Superintendent of Negro Affairs and of the 
military authorities might be communicated and enforced. This 
was intended to be the germ of a civil government. But the 
plan proved unsuccessful in the main. The " councillors " were 
too ignorant to keep records, or make and receive written com- 
munications, were jealous of one another, and too little raised in 
culture above the common people to command their respect, at 
least while the island is under military rule. To fit these 
people for republican self-government, education is the prime 
necessity. The sword to set them free, letters to make them 

The whites, who lived to the number of about four hundred 
on Roanoke Island previous to this rebellion, did not, for the 
most part, abandon their homes. They hastened, after the cap- 
ture of the island, to take the oath of allegiance, which some of 
them have faithfully kept in its spirit, others only in " the letter 
which killeth." The truly loyal among them have appreciated 
the necessity which compelled the Government to take possession 
of their uncultivated lands for a negro settlement, and have ac- 
cepted the fact with patriotic submission. But the other class, 
whose loyalty is so ill-disguised as to reveal the " copper," are 
loud in their complaints of the "nigger" and the " abolition- 
ers." They would be glad to drive the colored people and their 
friends from the island. And this too, when, by their own con- 
fession, their estates are worth more by four or five hundred 
per cent, than they were before the war, and their island home 
has been lifted from an ignoble obscurity into honorable promi- 
nence and commercial importance. The average value of the 
wood and waste lands, on which the colony has been settled, was 
only two dollars ((|2.00) an acre before the war. The '^ nigger" 
will yet be the making of these poor people. 

The question is sometimes asked, whether the Freedmen's col- 
ony on Roanoke Island has proved a success ? The answer may 


be gleaned in part from the statements already made. If by 
success is meant complete self-support^ the question must be 
answered in the negative. Its insiflar and isolated position, far 
removed from any centre of population, the necessity of clearing 
the lots assigned, which were all wild land, the smallness of the 
garrison, furnishing but little employment to the people as laun- 
dresses, cooks, and servants, the partial failure of the shad fish- 
eries, and above all, the transfer into the army of most of the 
laboring men, have made it necessary to feed the larger portion 
of the colonists at the expense of the Government. 

But this is done in obedience to military orders in the case of 
all wives and children of negro troops, and is to be considered a 
part of their compensation. 

In every other aspect except that of " rations," the colony has 
met and exceeded expectation. 

It has proved a safe and undisturbed retreat for the families 
of soldiers, who were nobly defending our flag at Petersburg, 
Charleston, and Wilmington. 

It has instructed many hundreds of children and adults to 
read and spell, and to value knowledge as the means of elevating 
them and their race, and assuring to them the bkssings of free- 
dom forever. 

It has made three or four thousand human beings useless as 
" chattels," by breathing into them new hopes and aspirations, 
and fitting them to go forth from this Patmos, where they have 
been inspired with the spirit of liberty, and teach the same divine 
apocalypse to their brethren, now in " Confederate " bonds. 

It has helped to develope the resources of a somewhat remark- 
able island. Here landed, in 1685 and 1587, two colonies of 
Englishmen, sent out by Sir Walter Raleigh, which became ut- 
terly extinct in the short period of two years, leaving only some 
rude fortifications now overgrown with trees, by which to rec- 
ognize this first attempt to settle America from our fatherland. 
The Freedmon's colony has done better than Sir Walter's. 
Within a period of about twelve months, the settlers have built 
five hundred and ninety-one (591) houses, which, with the im- 
provements made upon their lots, are estimated to be worth 
$75.00 a piece. One of them was recently sold for 1150.00. 
Adopting the lower figure, here is a money value of forty-four 


thousand three hundred and twenty-five dollars ($44,325.00), a 
sum large enough to liave purchased the whole island three years 
ago, with all the improvements of two hundred years, under the 
rule and culture of its white inhabitants. 

It has multiplied the value of real estate thirty-seven times in 
a single year, at least in the estimation of the negroes who oc- 
cupy it, and has led the native whites to ask almost fabulous 
prices for the lands which they still retain. 

It has furnished important manufacturing facilities to the 
island and its vicinity, by introducing valuable steam-power, 
and opening stores for trade, which will survive the war, and be- 
come elements of prosperity and sources of wealth. 

The colored population of the island would have been much 
less dependent upon the Government, if the Government had 
more fully met its engagements with them. Immediately upon 
the occupancy of Roanoke Island by the Union troops, the ne- 
groes began to be employed by the Quartermasters, the Surgeons, 
the Engineers, and other Government officers, upon verbal prom- 
ises to pay, at rates varying from |8.00 to 825.00 per month. 
In the frequent changes of command which came over the is- 
land, their accounts were transferred from officer to officer, and 
usually in a very imperfect form. Oftentimes they were never 
rendered at all, but the laborer was deliberately swindled out of 
his earnings by some officer leaving the service, who thought this 
a brave transaction, and " good enough for the nigger " and his 
friends. At the commencement of Gen. Butler's administration 
in North Carolina, these people were led to believe that their 
just dues would be paid them. The several Superintendents 
of Negro Affairs, were made special commissioners to audit 
carefully these accounts, and present them at Headquarters for 
payment. Accordingly a roll of labor was made up for Roanoke 
Island, with care and painstaking, making use of all the scat- 
tered materials at command, and comparing them, when possi- 
ble, with the testimony of the parties. This Report Roll em- 
braced unsettled accounts smounting to eighteen thousand five 
hundred and seventy dollars and seven cents. This sum of mon- 
ey in circulation on Roanoke Island would make greenbacks 
tolerably plenty over its limited area of twelve miles by three 
or four. The most unsatisfactory manner in which these ac- 


counts were kept by the officers under whom the work was 
done, which was practically encouraged by the vacillating policy 
of the government toward the negroes at that time, is probably 
the reason for their non-payment. Fearing that it n^ver will be 
paid, I have exhorted the freedmen to consider this loss as one 
of their sacrifices for freedom ; as something that they should 
willingly bear for the country's good ; and which is in part made 
up to them by the fostering care of the government over their 
families, and more than compensated by their assured freedom 
in all time to come. 

Roanoke Island is the key of six charming estuaries, whose 
ready navigation by small vessels and light draft steamboats, 
must needs make them hereafter the seat of a profitable com- 
merce, in cotton, corn, turpentine, rosin, tar, timber, fish, oys- 
ters, wood, reeds, cranberries, and grapes. The Roanoke fisher- 
ies alone would yield fortunes every year if pursued in a busi- 
ness-like manner. The scuppernong grape, which is a native 
of North Carolina, if planted in vineyards and cultivated scien- 
tifically, might be made to produce, on Roanoke alone, an in- 
come of 1100,000 annually. It grows here spontaneously, and 
without enrichment of the soil, and yields, perhaps, the most 
delicious white wine that ever tempted the palate. I have cor- 
responded with parties at the North, who are ready to commence 
its culture here as soon as the way is open. 

Some persons have predicted that the government would fail 
to confirm to the Freedmen the rights and privileges they en- 
joy in these homesteads on Roanoke Island. I cannot believe it. 
These people are wards of the government. It is an element 
of our glory as a nation, that we can crush out a slave-holding 
rebellion with one hand, and sustain a liberated people with the 
other. The person, be he white or black, who has taken an 
acre of piney woods, worth two dollars in the market, and in- 
creased its value thirty or forty fold by his own labor in a single 
year, certainly deserves well of his country, and should be per- 
mitted to enjoy, while he lives, the fruits of his industry. When 
a " Bureau of Freedmen's Affairs " is created by Congress, it 
may well look to this matter. 

Sir Walter Raleigh's El Dorado, where gay cavaliers hoped 
to discover mines of gold, but only found starvation and an 



early grave, may yet fulfil, under the magic touch of freedom, 
the expectations of its early settlers. Its evergreen woods, its 
picturesque dales, its wave-kissed shores may yet, under the 
skilful appliances of labor, and the stimulus of republican insti- 
tutions, be the abode of a prosperous and virtuous people, of va- 
rying blood, but of one destiny, differing, it may be, in social 
position, but equal before the law, a happy commonwealth, in 
which Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall no longer 
vex Ephraim. 


This pretty little southern town has been the scene of stirring 
operations during the year, and war's devastations have left it 
scarcely more than a mass of ruins. Bandied to and fro, like a 
shuttle-cock, between the belligerants, having changed masters 
five times in two years, our army has builded, theirs has burned. 
And since destruction in point of time has so much the advan- 
tage of construction, its occupancy by the rebels, though brief, 
has left it in heaps. 

Its colored population in January, 1864, was 860 ; in January, 
1865, it was 94. At the beginning of the year the garrison and 
white population might have numbered 2,500. Plymouth was 
the headquarters of the " sub-district of the Albemarle," that 
brave and accomplished old soldier. Gen. H. W. Wessells, being 
in command. It was attacked in April last by a strong column. 
under the rebel Gen. Hoke, and for two days was bravely and 
successfully defended, with great slaughter of the assaulting 
forces. On the morning of the third day a new element was in- 
troduced into the contest by the coming of the " ram Albemarle " 
down the Roanoke river. A fort erected above the town, and 
armed with a 200 pounder Parrott gun, allowed the ram to pass 
without a shot, in the gray of the morning, and anon the formid- 
able creature was in front of the town, and in the death-grapple 
with our naval fleet. Lieut. Commander Flusser, who had been 
expecting for a year the advent of this enemy, first discovered 
her close aboard of him, no signal having been given by the 
fort above. The bow gun of the " Miami," his flag ship, was 
charged with a shell. " Fire this, boys," said he, " and then we 
will give them solid shot." The gunner pulled the lanyard, the 


shell struck the iron plating of the Ram, broke in pieces and 
rebounded, one piece of it striking and instantly killing the 
brave commander. This shot decided tlie fate of Pl^^mouth. 
Tiie Southfield (gunboat) was immediately sunk by the Ram, 
and the whole fleet driven from the river, leaving the town open 
to a raking fire on its undefended side. Unfortunately, Captain 
Flusser left no peer. 

It was a hard day for the poor negroes. The garrison, of Penn- 
sylvania, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts troops, 
were taken prisoners. The few colored men found in uniform 
were treated with shocking barbarity, as were the colored em- 
ployes of the government. Some few, who escaped by swim- 
ming and taking to the swamps, found their way at length to our 
gunboats, or to the Union lines. The remainder were remanded 
back to slavery in the interior. But many of the women and 
children were sent, by the thoughtful care of Gen. Wessells, to 
Roanoke Island, the evening before the fall of the town. At the 
same time were removed our three northern teachers, Mrs. 
Freeman and daughter, and Mrs. Croome, with the wives of sev- 
eral officers. The transport which bore them to a place of safe- 
ty left Plymouth not six hours before the " Albemarle " ob- 
tained possession of the river. 

The schools at Plymouth were of especial interest, and full of 
promise. The earliest instruction to the Freed men at this post 
had been given, more than a year previously, by the chaplain of 
the 25th Massachusetts Regiment, then stationed there. In no 
place in the District were the negroes more in earnest to obtain 
knowledge. The ladies had the hearty approval and kind assis- 
tance of Gen. Wessells, and were especially aided by Lieut. D. 
B. McNary, quartermaster of the 103d Pennsylvania Regiment, 
who volunteered to act as my assistant in Plymouth, and per- 
formed the duty with efficiency and promptness. 

The sudden flight of the ladies compelled them to leave be- 
hind school-books, school-furniture, house-furniture and much 
clothing, but they were courageous and unterrified. They did 
not desert either their schools or their colors, but stood guard 
faithfully at their post, only marching when they were ordered 
to do so, and going where they were directed to go. 

This reverse to our arms cut short sundry peaceful enterpri- 


ses which had been projected in aid of the Plymouth freedmen. 
One of these was the cutting of reeds for paper making. An 
agent of the Fiber Disintegrating Co., of Wall St. New York, 
had been here several times for the purpose of starting the 
business, and was on the point of succeeding, when Hoke ap- 
peared before the town. The same Hoke is answerable for the 
discontinuance of our agricultural operations, our fishing, shingle 
making, and turpentine farming. The Ram ruled the hour in 
Plymouth, and guarded like a Cerberus the mouth of the Roa- 
noke, until the night when Lieut. Cushing succeeded in explod- 
ing a torpedo beneath her armor and sinking her. So Plymouth 
is ours again. But with less than 100 negroes in the town, there 
is little to be done in this department of labor. 

Let no one associate Roanoke river, on the right bank of which 
stands the town of Plymouth, with Roanoke Island. They are 
nearly one hundred miles apart, both bearing a name known 
chiefly before the war in connection with the nativity of that 
singailar man, John Randolph. The river is navigable for small 
vessels as far up as Weldon, and the birthplace of Randolph was 
in the little town of Roanoke, still nearer the source of the river. 
Roanoke river empties into Albemarle Sound at its west end. 
Roanoke Island lies near the eastern extremity of the Sound. 


This town lying midway between Plymouth and New Berne, 
on the Tar or Pamlico river, was, before the war, a place of more 
importance than Plymouth, but somewhat smaller than New 
B-T"ne. Its plan is perfectly regular, with streets crossing one 
ant'ther at right angles, and beautifully shaded. A year ago it 
contained a colored population of nearly three thousand, where 
now are not one hundred. 

The fall of Plymouth hastened its evacuation by our army. 
But the need of troops for the Virginia campaign was one of the 
causes which led to this result. 

The brave defence which Gen. Foster made here the year be- 
fore having given the place some celebrity, our troops left it with 
regret. But especially sorrowful was this leave taking to the 
colored people, who parted with all they had, forsaking houses 
and lands, furniture, clothing, business, and all the associations 


of home, to go they knew not where, or whether ever to return. 
It is one of the sad things in the current history of these people, 
that every change in the posture of public affairs, every move- 
ment of an army, every raid, advance or retreat, whether of our 
troops or of the other, is to them a new distress. They are 
ground between the upper and the nether mill-stones, and who- 
ever has success the negro has sorrow and suffering. It is the 
terrible discipline through which the race will be brought into a 
higher social state. These are the pangs of the nation's new 
birth, and they have their counterpart and complement in the 
mourning which fills our northern homes. The wail of grief is 
mingled with the shouts of victory every time the wires flash out 
some new success. But, with the Anglo-Saxon and the African 
alike, these great tribulations, so sure as God reigns, must work 
out a common advantage, and bear for centuries to come the 
peaceable fruits of righteousness. 

Among the disappointments attending the evacuation of Wash- 
ington was the relinquishment of the land we had already put 
under cultivation, and of the comfortable dwellings which had 
been erected under the direction of Mr. Samuel M. Leathers, my 
assistant and superintendent there. 

Educational matters were also in an excellent state. The pi- 
oneer teachers. Miss Fanny Graves, Miss Sarah T. Dickinson, 
and Miss Anna M. Seavey, with those afterward associated with 
them. Miss Mary E. Jones, and Miss Annie P. Merriam, deserve 
great praise for the prudence, tact, and cheerful energy which 
they brought to their work, in a community greatly prejudiced 
against the movement, because made up so largely of persons 
born in North Carolina. 

A prosperous school of white children was here taught by Miss 
Seavey, until her health failed. It was not reopened before the 
town was given up, and our forces withdrawn. 

As an illustration of the benevolent spirit of our female teach- 
ers, and of the whole movement as well, it is proper that men- 
tion should be made of the assistance rendered by these ladies 
in the care of the sick white refugees at Beaufort and Morehead. 
It was here that most of the ladies were sent for a time, when 
hostile incursions were so prevalent in the District as to inter- 
rupt their peaceful avocations. The same disturbances had filled 


the Hammond and Mansfield General Hospitals with poor white 
people, mostly women and children, whose frail constitutions 
were completely prostrated under the hardships and discomforts 
of a forced removal from home. Among these refugees our 
teachers mo^'ed like ministering angels. They took by assign- 
ment a hospital ward each, and attended to those helpless pa^ 
tients, day and night, like sisters of mercy. Ignorant people, 
they could scarcely believe their own eyes when they saw the 
despised " nigger schoolma'am's " ministering so sedulously to 
themselves and their children. Some of them might lia-\'e ob- 
tained here their first gleam of light, on the subject of a com- 
mon brotherhood of man. Dr. Ballanger, of the Mansfield Hos- 
pital at Morehead, since deceased of yellow fever, testified in 
terms of warmest admiration to the fidelity and skill of our 
teachers while, as nurses ad interim, they sojourned with him. 


At this point, although one of importance to us in a military 
point of view, there are so few colored people, that only an occa- 
sional \isit has been necessary to give them all needed atten- 
tion. A few hardy negroes are employed by the quartermaster 
to man the boats which put out to passing vessels, and a few are 
servants of officers at the fort. Less than one hundred colored 
people live on the Banks, all the way from Cape Hatteras to 
Ocracoke Inlet. 

Most of those who resided there in 1861, have gone to other 
points since our military occupation of Eastern North Carolina. 

Having touched upon tlie principal matters of interest belong- 
ing to the several posts we occupy in this State, as they stand 
connected with negro affairs, I now present some facts and gen- 
eral considerations on the subject of 


My earliest interest in the blacks of North Carolina had respect 
to their training in the elements of knowledge, and their instruc- 
tion from the pulpit. Long before assuming my present charge, 
in the early days of the war, when the experiences of the Burn- 
side Expedition were the staple of current news, my personal ef- 
forts in behalf of the negroes began. 


In evening schools, very soon aftfir our friend Vincent Colyer 
left the field, and in connection with otlier chaplains, particularly 
Messrs. Woodworth of the 27th, Stone of the 45th, and Hall of 
the 44th, Massachusetts Regiments, and especially with Rev. 
James Means, chaplain of the Foster Hospital, my lamented 
predecessor in this office, whose love and zeal were so unquench- 
able, and whose beautiful life was laid down a willing sacrifice 
to save a suffering people, I have acted, consulted, and labored 
in this department during a period of more than three years. 
Wlien called to a special charge of this business by Gen. Foster, 
my first inquiries and correspondence had reference to the open- 
ing of day schools for the Freedmen, to be taught by cultured 
females from the North. 

The first schools so established were opened in New Berne, on 
the 23d day of July, 1863, in two of the colored churches. 
One was taught by Miss Betsey L. Canedy, assisted by Miss Alice 
Ropes, and the other by Miss Mary A. Burnap, and Miss Susan 
A. Hosmer, all from the State of Massachusetts. It is therefore 
about seventeen months since the first day school for colored chil- 
dren was opened within the District of North Carolina. On the 1st 
of January, 1864, the number of different pupils in all the schools 
was 1,500. From that date until July there was a steady in- 
crease in the attendance from month to month, until the aggre- 
gate reached nearly 3,000. Sixty-six different teachers, mostly 
from the North, have been commissioned and have labored in this 
field. The schools were closed on the 23d of July, and owing 
to the prevalence of yellow fever but few of the teachers returned 
from their vacation before the first of December. 

We now have in the District, nineteen -day schools fully at- 
tended and most successfully taught. Thirty-six different teach- 
ers are employed, and, with a single exception, hold two sessions 
each day. In some of the schools two, three, and even four 
teachers are engaged. They bring to their work a great 
amount of enthusiasm and ability, laboring incessantly in school 
hours to improve the minds, and out of school hours to clothe 
the bodies of their pupils. 

In addition to the day schools we have eight flourishing evening 
schools. These constitute one of the most interesting features 
of the work of education, embracing as they do only adults, or 


those unable to attend a day school. In the largest of these 
evening schools, 15 teachers are employed, instructing 170 pupils. 
Beyond a doubt the school will soon increase to 200, when we 
shall be compelled to limit the attendance. The whole number 
attending evening schools cannot be less than 400 to 500. We 
have plans matured for immediate execution, and when com- 
pleted, shall have in New Berne proper, one advanced school, 
and eight primaries ; at Trent River Camp five large schools ; 
at Beaufort three ; at Morehead one ; at Clumford Creek one ; at 
Newport and vicinity three ; and at Roanoke, six ; Total 28. 
Already we have commodious quarters for all the teachers we 
shall need at New Berne, embracing three houses ; we can easi- 
ly enlarge the quarters at Roanoke to meet increasing wants ; 
and at the other places there will be no difficulty in obtaining 
them at small expense. 

Notwithstanding that our efforts have been greatly interfered 
with and retarded by the yellow fever and its malarial accom- 
paniments, we have now a fair prospect of at least doubling our 
work this season, and laying a broad foundation for the future. 
The schools are regularly visited by the Superintendent of Edu- 
cation, Rev. William. T. Briggs, and monthly reports are made, 
giving the statistics and general condition of the schools, with 
accompanying remarks. These are sent each month to the so- 
cieties supporting the teachers. It is a noticable and gratifying 
fact that there is as much eagerness to attend school, and as 
much interest in study at the opening of this year as when the 
work commenced, and everything was new. 

The services of Mr. Briggs in this department of endeavor have 
been all that could be" desired. His mature mind, large experi- 
ence in educational matters, courteous bearing, and thorough 
goodness of heart, with untiring diligence in his work, have won 
golden opinions from those who have come in contact with him. 
His reorganization of the schools during the last month, wdicn I 
was too ill to aid him with one word of counsel, deserves especial 
mention. The services of such an officer give unity and point to 
all our operations in this department. We wholly ignore sects 
and sections, and labor for the country's welfare by striking at 
that ignorance which is the old root of this rebellion, and we 
welcome as honored coadjutors in the work, all whose hearts 
and hands ai-p consecrated to it. 



At this point, I subjoin a list of all the teachers who have 
come to North Carolina up to this date, with the name of the 
organizations which commissioned and sent them out. 

Commissioned by the New England FreedmerC s Aid Society, 
(^Educational Commission.') 

Oscar E. Doolittle, 
Betsey L. Canedy, 
Alice Ropes, 
Therese O. James, 
William V. West, 
Esther C. Warren, 
Sarah M. Pearson, 
Carrie E. Croome, 
Annie P. Merriam, 
Annie C. G. Canedy, 

Males, 4. 


Harriet M. Round, 
Elizabeth M. Tuttle, 
Anna Gardner, 
Caroline S. Haven, 
Moses G. Kimball, 
Helen M. Ireson, 
George AVarren, 
Margaret E. Smith, 
Frances E. Ellis, 
Elizabeth Condon. 

16. Total, 


Commissioned by 

Mary A. Burnap, 
Susan A. Hosmer, 
Elizabeth James, 
George N. Greene, 
E. J. Comings, 
Sarah D. Comings, 
Mary Brownson, 
Carrie M. Getchell, 
A. S. Etheridge, 
Emily S. Gill, 
Rhoda W. Smith, 

Males, 4. 

the American Missionary Association. 

Ella E. Roper, 
Harriet Spalding, 
Abby Winsor, 
Mary H. Howe, 
Samuel S. Nickerson, 
Mrs. S. S. Nickerson, 
T. Lyman, 
Mrs. T. Lyman, 
Nancy .J. McCullough, 
N. D. Francis, 
Vienna McLean. 

Females, 18. Total, 22. 

Commissioned by the National Freedmen^s Relief Association. 

Mrs. J. P. R. Hanly, Helen E. Luckey, 

Maggie Hanly, Mary A. Rutherford, 

Helen James, Sarah P. Freeman, 

Lucretia W. Johnson, Kate S. Freeman. 

Sarah AV. Tolman, Anna M. Seavey, 

Sarah T. Dickinson, Mary E. Jones, 

Fanny Graves, Frances E. Bonnell, 


Edward S. Fitz, Antoinette Turner, 

Emily L. Piper, Richard Boyle, (Colored.) 

Eveline Harris, James Keating, " 

Juliet B. Smith, Martha Culling, « 

Caroline E. Gould, Robert Morrow, " 

Males, 4. Females, 20. Total, 24. 

Sent out by no Association, hut self-supporting. 

Eliza P. Perkins, Jennie B. Bell. 

Females, 2. 


New England Freedmen's Aid Society, (White), .... 20 
American Missionary Association, " .... 22 

National Freedmen's Relief Association, W^ ^ ^ ' * * ' " ^ 

( (Colored), . . 4 

Independent, 2 

Total, 68 

Whole Number Male Teachers, 12 

Whole Number Female Teachers, bQ 

Total, 68 

The foregoing list shows how nearly equally the teachers sent 
to North Carolina are divided between the three organizations 
to which they stand accredited. It has been to me and to my 
associates a matter of solid satisfaction to see these important 
agencies so kindly co-operating. It is like the soldiers of the 
regiments fighting side by side, though gathered from the east 
and from the west, from the north and from the south. We 
are commencing the grandest work of education the world ever 
witnessed ; unspeakably the most important ever entrusted to 
men; and nothing is more suitable and wise than to prosecute 
it with a spirit free from all jealousy and distrust. If any one 
will cast out devils in the name of the Lord in a region where 
devils so much abound, who shall dare forbid him because he 
foUoweth not ivith us ? 

No aritlmietic can compute the amount of blessing conferred 


by these sixty-eight teachers, even in this brief period. Light 
has been flashed for the first time into hundreds of benighted 
minds, with an effect as electric, as inspiring, as beautiful, as 
when the Divine Spirit moved upon the formless void, and said, 
"'Let there be light,' and there was light." 

The teachers who have deceased during the year are the fol- 
lowing : Carrie M. Getchell, and Elizabeth M. Tuttle, at Beau- 
fort ; and Robert Morrow, (colored), at Roanoke Island. 

Miss Getchell died March, 14, 1864, after a brief but painful 
illness. Her disease was acute inflammation of the glottis, con- 
tracted by exposure and too close application to her duties. 
She loved her work, and labored for her Divine Master with all 
her heart and soul and strength. She was a person of robust 
health, and was stationed in one of the healthiest localities in the 
State. Yet here have occurred the only instances of mortality 
among our northern teachers. 

Miss Tuttle died of yellow fever in its most decided and fatal 
form. She was tenderly nursed night and day by a fellow 
teacher, Miss Graves, who passed the sickly season with health 
unimpaired, though she was fearlessly and almost continually 
among the sick and dying. 

Robert Morrow, at the time of his decease, was a sergeant in 
the 1st North Carolina Heavy Artillery, (colored troops.) He 
came into our lines at the time of an attack upon New Berne, 
and had been for many years a body servant of the rebel General 
Pettigrew, whom he then deserted for liberty and Union. He 
had a decent education, having been with Pettigrew at West 
Point, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and was an enthusiastic 
and excellent teacher. He was of pure African blood, had an 
intellectual cerebral development, and a patriotic heart. He 
died su.ddenly, and in his bed, having retired at night as well 
as usual. He was then engaged in recruiting colored troops at 
Roanoke Island. It matters little to him that he left the world 
without warning, for he daily walked with God. He still belongs 
to the great army which marches under the banner of truth, but 
he wears a conqueror's wreath and sings the song of victory. 
His was a short war, and a speedy promotion. 

Not only the decease of these warm-hearted workers, but the 
steady progress of the war towards its termination admonishes 


US to urge forward these labors of love with all possible energy. 
This is our hour and opportunity, while crowds of freedmen are 
hovering about our armies, and hiding behind our fortifications, 
to give them the instruction, and impart to them the impulses 
which they will retain after our armies are recalled, and the wave 
of southern population has rolled back wdthin its former limits ; 
which will prepare them, simple, untutored children of the sun, 
for the new responsibilities of life under freedom, and make 
them helpful of the honor and glory of the State. Upon no part 
of our work do I look with such satisfaction as upon this. 


The experience of the last year has confirmed me in some 
opinions which a previous sojourn of two years in North Caro- 
lina had suggested. Let them be taken for what they are worth. 

The negroes are not so helpless and depeiident as the poor 
ivhites. They are more fertile in expedients, more industrious, 
more religious, and more active and vigorous in body and mind. 

The pure blooded Africans are svperior to the mulattoes. 
Mixture of blood diminishes vitality and force, and shortens life. 
"What is gained in cerebral development, is lost in tendency to 
scrofula, and other diseases. Yellow children acquire knowl- 
edge no faster than blacks, and yellow women are frailer than 
their dark sisters. " Miscegenation " is the last measure to be 
recommended for the elevation of the negro race, whether mor- 
ally or physically. 

The negroes are grateful for liberty, and but little inclined to 
abuse it. They know, as we do not, what slavery means, and 
are truly grateful that they have escaped it. It would be natu- 
ral enough for their minds to react, and go to the other extreme 
of rude and disgusting boldness in their new powers and privi- 
leges. But only occasionally is one found who would put upon 
the white man's limbs the fetters which have dropped from his 
own. Devout thankfulness to God is their prevailing senti- 

The negroes strongly aspire to the common rights of citizens. 
If they have been set free, they want liberty to buy and sell and 
get gain, to select and favor their own church, school, and party, 
to defend themselves, to litigate with and implead one another, 


to hold written documents instead of verbal promises, and to 
manage their own affairs. They form societies, leagues, combi- 
nations, meetings, with little of routine or record, but much of 
speech-making, and sage counsel. 

They almost adore the persons ivho have brought them deliver- 
ance. They are hero worshippers. The eternal progress of ideas 
they comprehend not, but Abraham Lincoln is to them the chief- 
est among ten thousand, and altogether lovely. They mingle 
his name with their prayers and their praises evermore. They, 
have great reverence for the " head men " and for all in author- 
ity, and hence are easily governed. Even in their afflictions they 
retain this vanity. A message recently came to me that a colored 
man in a certain cabin across the river " had been under deep 
concern of mind, since last Friday, and wanted the General to 
come to see him, with the two head clergymen in the place." 
The delegate of some local society who has been to the front, and 
obtained an audience with Gen. Butler, or some other dignitary, 
will never have done rehearsing the circumstance. 

They are sloiv and shiftless workers. Seldom does one of 
them do a good day's work, when laboring for another party. 
Their own rude, bungling, slipshod style, seldom forsakes them. 
It almost gives one the backache to witness their labor. Not 
that they mean to be idle, but their habit is to strike a few blows, 
and then lean against a fence in the sun, and the last as much 
as the first. They never saw a gentleman work, until the Yan- 
kees came here, and before this time their only rule was to do as 
little as they could. 

The ownership of real estate is their strongest incentive to irv- 
dustry. Give them a piece of mother earth, and a " scrip o' pa- 
per " to show for it, and they are as happy as kings. Be it 
swampy or scrubby, with roots and bushes, or sandy, or wooded, 
it matters not. Up goes a house, down sinks a well, and soon 
pigs and chickens appear on the scene, and l^he farm is inaugura- 
ted with a cornfield and a collard patch and rows of sweet pota- 
toes between. 

They will do better in the society of whites than in separate 
communities. At least for the present and until the enterprising 
and thrifty among them have become wealthy and able to furnish 
occupation to the remainder, the more intelligent race must em- 


ploy and pay them. They are now a nation of servants. They 
will always make the most faithful, pliable, obedient, devoted 
servants that can enter our dwellings. And the foolish preju- 
dice against color which prevails, I am forced to believe, even 
among the best people of the North, should immediately give 
way, that they may take their proper place in all our households : 
not to throw white laborers out of employment, but to lift them 
higher in the social scale, and engage them in labors which re- 
quire more skill. In the successive orders or ranks of industrial 
pursuits, those who have the least intelligence must needs per- 
form the more menial services, without respect to color or birth. 
Give the colored man equality, not of social condition, but equal- 
ity before the law, and if he proves himself the superior of the 
Anglo-Saxon, who can hinder it ? If he shall fall below him, 
who can help it ? undoubtedly the negro has his own place under 
republican institutions, and eternal laws are sure to bring him 
into position. This, at least, is our " south-side view." 

Their elevation as a race is a work of patience and time. The 
growth of character is slow, especially if one must unlearn the 
traditions of a lifetime to prepare him to commence aright. One 
is sorely tempted at times to throw up the work in disgust. The 
soil seems so unpromising, so choked with poisonous weeds, as 
to defy cultivation. The negroes are so untrustworthy, so full 
of all deceitfulness and dishonesty, so enveloped in dirt and 
rags, that we ask in despair. Is there rain enough in the sweet 
heavens to cleanse them, or grace sufficient to renew them ? 

The doubt is but for a moment ; for these poor creatures are 
surely more sinned against than sinning. The shadow of a pas- 
sing disgust at the abject negro is changed into the fervor of a 
holy indignation against the crime that debased him when we 
reflect upon the pent up abuses of many generations now let 
loose in judgment upon the land, and hear the voice of the Lord, 
like muttering thunders, saying, let my peoj)le go. Verily, with 
Paul the apostle, we are " debtors to the bond," as well as to the 
free. The temporary support of a few hundred thousand negroes 
is but a trifling incident for tliis nation, and is more than coun- 
tervailed by their services in the field. When we have gone in- 
to every corner of the South, and carried liberty and laws, art 
and enterprise, learning and pure religion to all these people 


with painstaking and in the spirit of love, then and not till then, 
shall we have paid the debt. 

The colored people will raise tip and support their own preach- 
ers. They are a religious people. On Sundays, arrayed in their 
best, they statedly frequent the sanctuary to sing, and praise, and 
pray. There is no lack of ministers among them. Their pre- 
paration to preach is small, but their fluency great, and their use 
of language remarkable. The St. Andrews Methodist Church in 
New Berne has raised a thousand dollars for church purposes 
the past year. The colored people fear God, are free from pro- 
fanity, and highly prize worship. Almost the only comfort they 
enjoyed under slavery was derived from this source. It may be 
that their changed condition will train them into the vices of a 
higher state of Christian society, and make profanity, drunken- 
ness and crime as common among them as it is, alas ! among the 
dominant race. But we hope not. 

The first want of the negroes is instruction by devoted and cul- 
tured teachers. Schools, academies, institutes, colleges, univer- 
sities, may all be needed by and by. But at present schools only. 
The tyranny under which they have been ground was nursed by 
ignorance. Upon intelligent people it would have been power- 
less. Send out teachers then, and especially female teachers. 
Let them follow in the track of every conquering army. Let 
them swarm over the savannas of the South. Bring hither the 
surplus of females in New England, greatly increased by the be- 
reavements of war, for here it can essentially contribute to the 
national wealth and honor. No more beautiful resolution of a 
difficult and delicate social dilemma can be conceived of. 

My relations to the military authorities of the Department, and 
of the District and several Posts as well, has been so uninterrup- 
tedly cordial, as to make the conduct of negro affairs far easier 
than it would have been under a state of distrust and jealousy. 
The number of officers who sneer at the idea of freedom, educa- 
tion, and advancement for the African race in America is, for- 
tunately for the service, growing less every day. The current 
of public opinion and the resistless logic of events is too strong 
for them. Those who make a stand against this sentiment of 
the age will go down before it to rise no more. Those who at- 
tach themselves to it will advance with it to historic success. 


The negro made free is the great fact of this century, and its 
vouchers are a national debt of two thousand millions of dollars 
and the graves of half a million of young men ! 

My official duties in North Carolina have been greatly aided 
by my assistant superintendents. Especially were the labors 
of Rev. Clarendon Waite of use to the service at New Berne, 
during the first half of the year. Could we have offered an ade- 
quate compensation to this gentleman, he might perhaps have 
been retained permanently, if it be proper to apply the term 
permanent to a service which is confessedly but temporary, and 
preparatory to a new organization of society. 

To present the business of the last year to the eye of the read- 
er in a more compact and tangible form, a statement is here 
given of our operations in the form of a debt and credit account. 
From this it may be seen what the government has done, for the 
negroes, and in part what the negroes have done for themselves. 
It will serve to show, at least, that the aid extended by the gov- 
ernment to these people in their homelessness and poverty, is in 
some measure compensated by their patient and faithful efforts 
on their own behalf. They have not been supported as mendi- 
cants, but helped frugally and considerately. 















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FaZwe 0/ Quartermaster's Shoues furnished bp the Government 
for use of Freedmen in the Third District, during the year 
ending December Z\st, 1864. 

Fuel, . . . . 
Office Furniture, 
Means of Transportation, 
Building Materials, 
Blacksmith's Tools, 
Carpenter's Tools, 
Mason's Tools, 
Miscellaneous Tools, . 
Stores for Expenditure, . 

Total, . 














Value of Clothing, Camp, and Garrison Equipage furnished by 
the Government for use of Freedmen in the Third District, 
during the year ending Dec. 2>lst, 1864. 

dIc?3i. Clothing, (condemned,) 
Clothing, (new,) 
Tents, (condemned,) 
Tent Poles and Pins, (condemned,) 
Knapsacks, &c., (condemned,) 

Total, ..... 















































Saving to Gov- 
ernment In Is- 
suing to de- 
pendents and 



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Cost of a single Ration 
as actually Issued to 
dependents and ref- 
ugees. (Average.) 

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Cost of a single de- 
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allowed by Govern- 


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Cost of Eations depen- 
for soldier's fa- deiits & 
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Cash received from General Superintendent of Negro Affairs 
for payment of Assistants^ Clerks , and Laborers in the Third 


Feb. 23. By cash received from Lieut. Col. J. B. Kinsman, 

• Supt. General Negro Affairs, . . . $1,257.56 

Apr. 26. By cash received from Lieut. Col. Kinsman, by 

hand of Captain Orlando Brown, A. Q. M., . 1,529.84 

Aug. 27. By cash received from Major George J. Carney, 

Supt. General Negro Affairs, . . . 2,000.00 

Oct. 14. By cash received from Major G. J. Carney, . 6,704.25 

Total, $11,491.65 


Value of Permanent Improvements made in the Third District 
during; the year ending Dec. 31, 1864. 

Class. Value. 

Mill, .... One Steam Saw and Grist Mill, . . $20,000 

Schools, . . . Five School Houses on Roanoke Island, 925 

Three School Houses at New Berne, . 700 

Storehouses, &c., One Commissary Storehouse, Roanoke, 600 

One Commissary Storehouse, New Berne, 1,500 

One Small Pox Hospital, Roanoke Isl., 150 

One Storehouse, Roanoke Island, . . 350 

One Storehouse for Fish, 350 

DvTELLiNG Houses, Eight hundred Houses in Trent River 

Settlement, at $20 each, .... 16,000 
Three hundred houses in city of New 

Berne, $40 each, 12,000 

Five hundred and ninety-one houses and 
improved lots at Roanoke Island, at 

$75 each, 44,325 

Ten houses at Beaufort, at $100 each, 1,000 
Dwelling House for camp superintend- 
ent and teachers, 500 

Total, $98,400 



Value of Articles Fabricated in the Third District, during- the 
Year ending- Dec. 31, 1864. 

Date. No. Quahtitt. Articles. Value. 

Dec. 31, . . 225,000 . . . 225,000 feet, . . . Lumber, .... $6,750 

" " . . 1,000 . . . 1,000 cords, . . . Pine Wood, . . 3,000 

« « . . 200 .. . 200 cords, . . . Hard Wood, . . 800 

Total, $10,550 


Cash Receipts from various sources, by the Department of Negro 
Affairs, Third District, during the year ending Dec. 31, 1864. 

Dec. 31. Fi'om sale and letting of public horses, . . $1,173.50 

From sales of clothing and private stores, . 2,581.82 

From sales of camp grease, .... 1,189.57 
From proceeds of grinding at the grain mill on 

Roanoke Island, ..... 98.30 

Total, $5,043.19 

The foregoing statistical tables will show that the department of 
negro affairs has not been fully self-supporting in North Carolina 
during the first year of its operations. It is, however, gratifying 
to see that it has accomplished what it has. The increase in the 
issue of food to the blacks in the month of May over the prece- 
ding month, is due to the capture of Plymouth and the evacua- 
tion of Washington which caused a great increase of refugees at 
Roanoke Island, New Berne, and Beaufort. The number assist- 
ed steadily decreased until September, when the yellow fever, 
even more formidable than a raid of rebels, unfurled its dread 
banner before our eyes. The colored people suffered with the 
whites, and, as all business was suspended, a larger number than 
before required charitable aid. 

The column of " Savings to Government " requires explana- 


tion. Let it be observed, that we are not ordered to issue the 
full dependent ration to all poor and needy blacks, but only to 
give them necessary sustenance, and prevent positive suffering. 
With the families of soldiers it is otherwise. They receive the 
fixed and full allowance. To give the poor and dependent 
enough to sustain them in indolence was never intended. To 
give them enough to encourage and stimulate them to help 
themselves is what we have endeavored to do. The difference 
between this and the full ration may therefore be properly con- 
sidered a saving to the government in the administration of this 

The balance of accounts for the year would have been upon 
the other side, if the abandoned farms and turpentine planta- 
tions of this District, or even half of them, had been in the hands 
of the superintendent of negro affairs. The agent of the Treas- 
ury Department had the sole management of these farms. 

And while they were occupied in many instances by colored 
lessees, and almost wholly worked by them, the department of 
negro affairs was not pecuniarily benefited thereby. In matter 
of fact it is the same thing however, and the earnings of the ne- 
groes ivithin our lines in North Carolina, have far exceeded the 
expenses of the government on their behalf When the manage- 
ment of the Freedmen, and of the abandoned lands shall be 
confided to the same hands, so that they may be settled upon 
them, and protected in their culture and care, it admits of no 
doubt that their labor will both prove remunerative to them- 
selves and a source of new wealth to the country. The manu- 
facturers of the North will scarcely be able to supply the South, 
in those swift coming days when almost every negro will be a 
cash paying customer. 

For the present it is plain .that the negroes must be sheltered 
under the protecting wing of the government, and be trained 
into self-reliance and independence. They need a special agen- 
cy to manage their affairs at the nation's capital. They will re- 
quire for a time a central superintendence in each State that 
has been afflicted with slavery. At least until the return of the 
seceded States into the Union, and the enactment by them of 
new laws in the interest of freedom, this national tutilage of the 
negro must continue. Otherwise he will not have an even 


chance to rise, and his new born privileges will be turned into a 

I respectfully suggest that a change ought to be made in the 
issue of rations to the families of colored soldiers. The wages 
of all common soldiers are now the same. Many wives of sol- 
diers are well able to support themselves by their own labor. 

Many now receive supplies of money from their husbands in 
the army. To give them all full rations without regard to their 
circumstances is teaching them to be indolent, saucy, and un- 
chaste. Slender as is the marriage tie among them, strong as 
are their passions, it is not strange that they often prove unfaith- 
ful to their husbands in the field. Would it not be better for the 
government to extend aid to the needy among these people, and 
not bestow it upon all ? Or to feed the children only and the 
sick and very aged, requiring the able bodied to support them- 
selves ? 

The year past has been one of experiment, and our work that 
of pioneers. Some things have been learned, some things be- 
g-un, and some, we trust, well done. If our successors shall con- 
tinue to feel their way along the path of progress, to welcome 
each kind auxiliary, adopt each improved method, and act on every 
suggestion of experience, the duty of the age will be performed. 
It is a work of faith and patience. We have been conversant 
with its beginnings. Its end who can foresee ? 

I have the honor to be. Major, with great respect, 

Very faithfully, yours, 


Capt., and A. Q. M., 

Supt. Negro Affairs, Dist. of N. C. 



Early in the year 1865, active preparations began to be made to change the 
base of supplies of Sherman's army from Savannah to Eastern North Carolina. 
To this end Morehead City was occupied by the Quartermasters and Commis- 
saries of that army ; and Mansfield Hospital was broken up. The Construction 
Corps were landed there, who f^ommenced to build storehouses, relay the rail- 
road, enlarge the piers, and otherwise prepare to land and transport from this 
point supplies sufficient for a hundred thousand men. The bay and roadstead 
about Morebead and Beaufort were soon filled with loaded transports, and the 
harbor swarmed with troops and munitions of war. 

This new activity swept into its current, for the time, every other interest. 
For a few weeks labor was in pressing demand, and large gangs worked through 
the day, only to be relieved by others, which worked through the night. All the 
able-bodied negroes in the Department were offered employment at the best 
wages, and whoever hesitated was persuaded to work by the solicitation of the 
bayonet. Not half enough could be found within our lines to perform the needed 
services, and large details of soldiers were made for fatigue duty, in addition to 
the thousands taken up by the Quartermasters upon the rolls of labor. 

At this time matters were rapidly culminating in the Confederacy. Fort 
Fisher had fallen. The capital of South Carolina had been occupied. Charles- 
ton was evacuated, and Wilmington could hold out but a little longer. As 
soon as this famous headquarters of blockade-running had also succumbed to the 
Union forces, and Gen. Sherman had sent thither thousands of refugees from 
Fayetteville, some hundreds of these were brought to Morehead, quartered in 
the buildings lately used for hospital purposes, and employed in the government 

About the same time with these important army movements, Gen. Butler 
was relieved of the command of the Department of Virginia and Noith Caro- 
lina, f nd the last named State was annexed to the Department of the South. 
This brought North Carolina under the jurisdiction of its former commander, 
Gen. J. G. Foster. This arrangement, however, was suddenly terminated by 
the erection of North Carolina into a separate department, as it had been for- 
merly under Burnside, in 1862. Major Gen. Schofield was placed in command^ 


having brought hither the gallant Army of the Ohio, the headquarters of which 
were now established upon the Atlantic sea-board. 

Soon after the entry of Gen. Schofield upon his new command, his attention 
was called to the fact, that families of southern soldiers, both white and colored, 
were supplied with rations by the government without regard to their particular 
needs. Whereupon he issued very wisely, the following order : 

SHbadquartbes Department of North Carolina, 
(Army of the Ohio ) 
New Berne, N. C, March 18, 1865. 

All able bodied men, within the lines of the Army, who have no legitimate 
employment, are required to report without delay to the nearest Provost Mar- 
shal for enrollment, in order that they may be employed in the Quartermaster's 
Department. Provost Marshals will take measures to secure full compliance 
with this order within their respective jurisdictions. 

The names of all persons enrolled will be reported to Brig. Gen. L. C. Eas- 
TON, Chief Quartermaster Mihtary Division of the Mississippi, and upon his re- 
quisition such number as he may require will be ordered to report to him for 
labor in the Quartermaster's Department. They will while so employed, receive 
the usual compensation and subsistence. 

Hereafter the Commissary Department will not issue rations to any person 
not in the Government service, except such as are unable from age or infirmity 
to work, and are actually dependent upon charity for their support. There is 
work enough for all, and none will be allowed to live in idleness while supported 
by the Government. 

The General commanding the District of Beaufort will cause this order to be 
strictly complitd with. 

By command of Major-General Schofield : 

J. A. CAMPBELL, Assist Adj't General. 

This order, so far as it respects the colored people, being in accordance with 
the views suggested at the close of my report for the last year, has worked well 
in practice, and compelled some to engage in remunerative labor who would 
otherwise have continued to eat the bread of idleness. If the pay of colored 
soldiers had been more promptly given them, they would have provided food for 
their families. Indeed it would have been a great saving to the government to 
have made more frequent settlements with its colored employes, for so long as 
they had no cash in hand, they had no means of hving, and must be helped as a 

After Gen. Sherman had arrived at Goldsboro', and opened the eastern gates 
of the Old North State, it was wonderful to see how the dark tide of population 
rolled into the sea-board towns. Ten thousand entered Wilmington, five thousand 
New Berne, and in large numbers they came down to other places on the coast. 
Some had followed that victorious army from the heart of South Carolina, some 
had come even from Savannah. But most had left their homes along the route 
of that grand march, and, glad to escape from their old servitude, had pressed 
forward until they could go no farther. Pitiable was the condition of many of 
them, when they entered our lines. Footsore and weary, ragged and dusty 
from travel, mostly without covering for either their feet or heads, some of them 
emaciated and already marked as victims of death, afflicted with hocirse hollow 


coughs, with measles, with malarial chills, it seemed like anything but a land of 
promise into which they had come. But they were happy, and did not com- 
plain. With the characteristic cheerfulness of the negro, which is an admirable 
and beautiful feature of his character, they went singing along, and still, though 
living in want and destitution, they continue to sing. 

Our stores of clothing were soon exhausted, and an appeal was issued, not in 
vain, to the good people of the North to send us more. The same warm friends 
of suffering humanity who had once and again supplied our wants, and who had 
just responded to an urgent appeal in behalf of Savannah and Charleston, lis- 
tened kindly also, when we spoke of Wilmington and New Berne. The Friends 
at Philadelphia sent us very promptly a valuable invoice of clothing, shoes, hats, 
caps, blankets, axes and seeds. The National Freedmen's Relief Association 
sent a large quantity of clothing. The New England Freedmen's Aid Society, 
forwarded sundry valuable boxes of clothing and other goods. And the Rhode 
Island Freedmen's Association, a new but vigorous society, added an important 
contribution to the donations of its elder sisters. These supplies have done in- 
calculable good, and have relieved the most pressing cases of suffering and want. 
During the warm weather the people, even in their poverty, will get on comfort- 
ably. But the next winter will be one of trial, it is to be feared, beyond any 
in the history of this war. 

Had hostilities ceased a couple of months earlier, much more land would have 
been put under cultivation this season, and perhaps food enough would have 
been produced in the State for the supply of all its inhabitants, white and black- 
But it can hardly prove so now. When Johnston's army surrendered, it was late 
planting time, and the horses and mules needed for plowing, had mostly been 
captured, and put to army uses. It will require at least a year to bring the 
cleared lands of the State, large tracts of which have lain faUow during the 
whole war, into cultivation again. 

Those portions of the State which were overrun by Gen. Sherman's army 
were stripped of all food and stock, and the people who resided there were re- 
duced to positive want. It was a matter of necessity that the negroes should 
leave their homes and congregate in the large towns. Hunger and fear of the 
rebels, and a sense of liberty, alike impelled them to foUow the army, though it 
was attended with great hardship and suffering. Many poor creatures who then 
left their homes will never see them again. What with long marches, and hun- 
ger, and exposure to cold and rain, with insufficient clothing and shelter, and 
not unfrequently rudeness and cruelty, on the part of those who ought to have 
been their defenders, and toward whom they looked with all confidence as de- 
liverers, these people have melted away almost as rapidly as if they had been 
swept with grape and cannister, and their routes of travel are marked with 
freshly made graves. 

Government aid was freely but judiciously administered to them, in the 
form of simple food, and none were allowed to die of hunger. But so soon 
as hostilities had ceased, and it became safe for the freedmen to return to 
their former residences without fear of violence, they were advised and encour- 
aged to do so. 



In order to promote this end, and at the same time define the status of the 
former slaves, and assure them of their freedom and of protection therein, Gen. 
Schofield issued, very wisely, the following order : 

( Headquarters Dkpartmbnt op North Carolina. 
\ (Army op thk Ohio.) 

General Orders ? ( Raleiirh, N. C. April 27, 18G5. 

No 3-2. 5 

To remove a doubt which seems to exist in the minds of some of the people of 
North Carolina, it is hereby declared that by virtue of the Proclamation of the 
President of the United States, dated January 1st, 1863, all persons in this 
State heretofore held as slaves are now free ; and that it is the duty of the 
Army to maintain the freedom of such persons. 

It is recommended to the former owners of the Freedmen to employ them as 
hired servants at reasonable wages. And it is recommended to the Freedmen 
that when allowed to do so, they remain with their former masters, and labor 
f,s,ithfully so long as they shall be treated kindly and paid reasonable wages, 
or that they immediately seek employment elsewhere, in the kind of work to 
which they are accustomed. It is not well for them to congregate about towns 
or Military Camps. They will not be supported in idleness. 
By command of Major-General Schofield. 

J. A. CAMPBELL, Assist. Adj't General. 

The foregoing order did not, however, become immediately known to all the 
people. The negroes were plied in many cases with abuse and falsehood, and 
made to believe that after the departure of the troops they would be slaves pre- 
cisely as before. While they were in this transition state, scarcely knowing 
whether they were or were not free, — a point made still more uncertain to 
them by the untimely death of their grea*- Deliverer, Abraham Lincoln, — the 
efforts and counsels of my assistant superintendents were of great value to these 
bewildered people. It was noticeable that the negroes would not believe the 
promises of their old masters, however much they had been supposed to love 
them, but would confide implicitly in the statements of Northern men whom they 
never saw before, and who told them they had rights of their own which white 
men even were bound to respect. It will be necessary for such mediators to 
stand between the colored people and the old aristocracy, that once presumed to 
own them, until the feelings and habits of both classes have become adjusted to 
the altered conditions of society. The general government having stricken off 
their shackles, and pledged fi-eedom to the colored race, should stand god-father 
to these simple children of nature, and throw the strong arm of its protection 
around them, until they are confessed to be free men and citizens, and willingly 
treated as such by the dominant race. In order to introduce a uniform practice 
in respect to the Freedmen in North Carolina, and provide for the settlement 
of all cases that might arise, and bring the whole subject under military con- 
trol. Gen. Schofield promulgated in General Orders a series of rules intended 
to cover the whole ground, as follows : 

( Headquarters Department op North Carolina, 
\ (Army op the Ohio.) 

General Orders ) ( Raleigh, N. C. May 15, 1£65. 

No 40. j 

The following rules are published for the government of Freedmen in North 
Carolina, until the restoration of civil government in the State : 


I. The common laws governing the domestic relations, such as those giving 
parents authority and control over their children, and guardians control over 
their wards, are in force. The parent's or guardian's authority and obligations 
take the place of those of the former master. 

II. The former masters are constituted the guardians of minors and of the 
aged and infirm, in the absence of parents or other near relatives capable of 
supporting them. 

III. Young men and women, under twenty-one years of age, remain under 
the control of their parents or guardians until they become of age, thus aiding 
to support their parents, and younger brothers and sisters. 

IV. The former masters of Freedmen may not turn away the young or the 
infirm, nor refuse to give them food and shelter ; nor may the able-bodied men 
or women go away from their homes, or live in idleness, and leave their parents, 
children, or young brothers and sisters to be supported by others. 

V. Persons of age, who are free from any of the obligations referred to 
above, are at liberty to find new homes wherever they can obtain proper em- 
ployment ; but they will not be supported by the government, nor by their 
former masters, unless they work. 

VI. It will be left to the employer and servant to agree upon the wages to 
be paid ; but Freedmen are advised that for the present season they ought to 
expect only moderate wages, and where their employers cannot pay them 
money, they ought to be contented with a fair share in the crops to be raised. 
They have gained their personal fi-eedom. By industry and good conduct they 
may rise to independence and even wealth. 

VII. All officers, soldiers and citizens, are requested to give publicity to these 
rules, and to instruct the freed people as to their new rights and obligations. 

VIII. All officers of the Army, and of the county police companies, are au- 
thorized and required to correct any violation of the above rules within their 

IX. Each District commander will appoint a Superintendent of Freedmen, 
(a commissioned officer,) with such number of assistants (officers and non-com- 
missioned officers) as may be necessary, whose duty it will be to take charge 
of all the freed people in his District, who are without homes or proper employ- 
ment. The superintendents will send back to their homes all who have left 
them in violation of the above rules, and will endeavor to find homes and suita- 
ble employment for all others. They will provide suitable camps or quarters 
for such as cannot be otherwise provided for, and attend to their discipline, po- 
lice, subsistence, &c. 

X. The superintendents will hear all complaints of guardians or wards, and 
report the facts to their District commanders, who are authorized to dissolve the 
existing relation of guardian and ward in any case which may seem to require 
it, and to direct the superintendent to otherwise provide for the wards, in ac- 
cordance with the above rules. 

By command of Major-Gexeral Schofield . 

J. A. CAMPBELL, Assist. Adj't General. 

Whether or not these rules were In every respect the best that could have 
been made, needs not to be here discus.sed. Almost any system Is preferable to 
confusion. But nearly at the same time with their promulgation, Major-General 
O. O. Howard was appointed Commissioner of the new " Bureau of Refugees, 
Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands," and the system of management proposed 
by General Schofield gave way to the rules of the new Bureau. It will be 
needful, however, that there should be a good understanding between Depart- 
ment commanders and the officers of this Bureau, otherwise little can be ac- 
complished. During the last month, and since the negroes have become well 


assured tbat the war is at an end, and that they -will be safe in the interior, 
they have left the towns in large numbers, and have returned to their planta- 
tion residences. Three thousand have gone from New Berne alone, and as 
many more from Wilmington. It is touching in the extreme to witness the 
happy meetings that take place between parents and children, or husbands 
and wives that have not seen each other since the war began, or perha^as for 
eight, ten, or even twenty years. The negro is demonstrative in the expression 
of his feelings, and his domestic affections are very strong. If any one can wit- 
ness without emotion or even tears, the affectionate meetings and greetings of 
these people after long absence, he must be something either more or less than 

After the return of peace, and during the month of May, many of the refu- 
gees, both white and black, were supplied by the government with horses and 
mules to aid them in cultivating the soil. These animals, mostly captured 
during Gen. Sherman's campaign, were no longer of use to the army, and 
were therefore, to the number of four or five hundred, loaned out to the 
poor farmers for agricultural purposes. Of these the colored people had their 
share, and most joyfully did they avail themselves of this assistance in obtain- 
ing for themselves and their families a living. 

No sooner was Wilmington wrested from the rebels, than it was explored by 
the agents of northern educational bodies, and schools were opened by the 
American Missionary Association. The National Freedmen's Relief Associa- 
tion has also sent laborers there, and not less than twelve northern teachers are 
now occupying different points on the Cape Fear River. Schools have been 
opened at Kinston and Goldsboro', but they have been thus far taught by- 
chaplains and soldiers from the regiments. 

During the five months of the present year, all our operations in behalf of the 
Freedmen in North Carolina have been pursued in much the same manner as 
heretofore, and with good success. The changes experienced have been more 
sudden than ever before, vibrating from the active conflicts of war to the hushed 
repose of peace. The negroes are adjusting themselves as rapidly as possible 
to their changed circumstances, and things generally look promising. 

It is not true in North Carolina that the negroes are lazy and will not work. 
Whoever says so bears flilse witness against his neighbor. They are industri- 
ous and energetic, and will be sure to prosper, unless the old tyranny is re-estab- 
lished under some other form. The community need to be cautioned against 
accepting without question the statements of enemies. If unscrupulous false- 
hood can create the impression that negro freedom is a failure, it will do it. 
But all honest investigations will show the contrary. 

The colored people greatly desire to learn. They are enthusiastic and per- 
severing in their efforts in this behalf They have an idea that knowledge is 
power, and that it has given to the Yankees their great success, and this thought 
stimulates them to exertion. The boon they crave above all others, is knowl- 
ed<Te. They believe it will assure them rights, influence, position, and consider- 
ation. In this way they hope to vote, and to acquire property, to become land- 
holders, and citizens in full. And now that the national battle is won, it is to 


be hoped they may nol be disappointed. If this war, terminated as it has been 
in the success of the Union arms, means anything, it iaeans that thought and 
speech and instruction at the South are now and forever free. If it be not so, 
we had better go to fighting again. The last school-teacher has been banished. 
The last preacher of liberty has been silenced. The last propagandist of liberal 
ideas has been hooted and proscribed by a tyranneous and brutal p' olic opin- 
ion. An idea may now march, with the step of a conqueror, over every foot 
of Southern soil. The shadow of Bunker Hill monument reaches to the Rio 
Grande. Over this whole area truth and error may now grapple upon a fair 
field, and the right will have no odds against her. 

Sooner or later ne^ro siyfra^e must come, not however without earnest and 
protracted agitation. While several of the powerful free states of the North 
are still holding the black man aloof from the ballot box, it was hardly to be 
expected that he should emerge from abject slavery in the South, and rise at 
one bound to this high privilege of citizenship. But he is fast vindicating his 
fitness for it, by the sword, by mental progress, by dignified acceptance of his 
new condition, and a certain noble bearing in it, and he will do it yet more by 
his industry, thrift, economy, and evident fitness to become the honest Ameri- 
can yeoman, paying his taxes, bearing the burdens of society, and conti-ibuting 
to the common welfare. 

As great interest is felt at the present time, in the new Bureau of Freedmen's 
Affairs, the act of Congress establishing the Scune is here given. 

AN ACT to establish a Bureau for the Relief of Freedmen and Refugees. 

Be it enacted, By the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States 
of America in Congress assembled, That there is hereby established in the VVar 
Department, to continue during the present war of rebellion, and tor one year 
thereafter, a bureau of refugees, (reedmen, and abandoned lands, to which 
shall be committed, as hereinafter provided, the supervision and management 
of all abandoned lands, and the control ofall suijects relating to refugees and 
freedmen from rebel states, or from any district of country within the territory 
embraced in the operations of the army, under such rules and regulations as 
may be prescribed by the head of the bureau and approved by the President. 
The said bureau shall be under the management and control of a commissioner 
to be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the 
Senate, whose compensation shall be three thousand dollars per annum, and 
such numbpf of clerks as may be assigned to him by the Secretary of War, 
not exceeding one chief clerk, two ot the fourth class, two of the tnird class, 
and five of the first class. And the commissioner and all persons appointed 
under this act, shall, before entering upon their duties, take the oath of olfice 
prescribed in an act entitled, " An act to prescribe an oath of olhce, and for 
other purposes," approved July second, eighteen hundred and sixty-two, and 
the commissioner and the chief clerk shall, before entering upon their duties, 
give bonds to the treasurer otthe United States, the former in the sum of fifty 
thousand dollars, and the latter in the sum ot ten thousand dollars, conditioned 
for the faithtul discharge of their duties respectively, with securities to be ap- 
proved as sufiicient by the Attorney-General, which bonds shall be filed in the 
office of the first comptroller of the tieasury, to be by him put m suit tor the 
benefit of any injured party upon any breach of the condition thereof. 

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the Secretary of VVar may direct 
such issues of provisions, clothing, and fuel, as hu may deem needful tor *he 


immediate and temporary shelter and supply of destitute and suffering refu- 
gees and freedmen and their wives and children, under such rules and regula- 
tions as he may direct. 

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the President may, by and -with 
the advice and consent of the Senate, appoint an assistant commissioner for 
each of the States declared to be in insuriection, not exceeding ten in number, 
•who shall, under the directioQ of the commissioner, aid in the execution of the 
provisions of this act ; and he shall give a bond to the Treasurer of the United 
States, in the sum of twenty thousand dollars, in the form and manner pre- 
scribed in the first section of this act. Each of said commissioners shall re- 
ceive an annual salary of two thousand five hundred dollars in full compensa- 
tion for all his services. And any military officer may be detailed and assigned 
to duty under this act without increase of pay or allowances. The commis- 
sioner shall, before the commencement of each regular session of Congress, 
make full report ot his proceedings with exhibits of the state of his accounts to 
the President, who shall communicate the same to Congress, and shall also 
make special reports whenever required to do so by the President or either 
house of Congress ; and the assistant commissioners shall make quarterly reports 
of their proceedings to the commissioner, and also such other special reports 
as from time to time may be required. 

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That the commissioner, under the direc- 
tion of the President, shall have authority to set apart, for the use of loyal ref- 
ugees and freedmen, such tracts of land within the insurrectionary States as 
shall have been abandoned, or to which the United States shall have acquired 
title by confiscation or sale, or otherwise, and to every male citizen, whether 
refugee or freedman, as aforesaid, there shall be assigned not more than forty 
acres of such land, and the person to whom it was so assigned shall be pro- 
tected in the use and enjoyment of the land for the term of three years at an 
annual rent not exceeding six per centum upon the value of such land, as it 
was appraised by the State authorities in the year eighteen hundred and sixty, 
for the purpose of taxation, and in case no such appraisal can be found, then 
the rental shall be based upon the estimated value of the land in said year, to 
be ascertained in such manner as the commissioner may by regulation pre- 
scribe. At the end of said term, or at any time during said term, the occu- 
pants of any parcels so assigned may purchase the land and receive such title 
thereto as the United States can convey, upon paying therefor the value of 
the land, as ascertained and fixed for the purpose of determining the annual 
rent aforesaid. 

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That all acts and parts of acts inconsistent 
■with the provisions of this act, are hereby repealed. 

Approved, March 3, 1865. 

Major-General O. O. Howard, so favorably known to the country as the 
brave Commander of the Army of the Tennessee, was placed at the head of this 
Bureau by the President, on the 12th of May, 1865. A more fitting choice could 
not be made, nor one more in accordance with the will of the people. 

If any one asks what will be the policy of General Howard in the practical 
working of this bureau ? it may be answered, without violating his confidence, 
that he desires, 

1. The education of all the Southern people, white and black. 

2. Fair play for the Freedmen and refugees of the South, that they may re- 
trieve their fortunes by their own industry. 

3. Settlement of these people upon the soil, and the permanent occupancy of 
farms of their own. 


To favor these ends, he invites the earnest co-operation of all benevolent as- 
sociations and persons, all educational and missionary societies, all churches and 
civil organizations, in the work of reorganizing society at the South, it being 
the purpose of the Bureau " not to supersede the benevolent agencies already 
engaged in it, buc only to systematize and facilitate them." 

Never did a fairer field of endeavor open before any man, though there will 
be many obstacles to success. But let not one of them be a faint heart on the 
part of the friends of the Freedmen. Our work is just begun ; years are neces- 
sary to its completion. Latent in our successful appeal to arms are unspeak ible 
blessings for the whole South, both oppressors and oppressed. They are I ) be 
developed slowly and by peaceful processes, like the healing ministries of nature 
and the restoring.grace of God. Let us address ourselves br , ^xy to the work, 
and place at least one thousand teachers in the South this very autumn. Let 
Northern capital and Northern men go in and possess the land. Then shall the 
■wilderness smile with plen!;/, and the desert shall blossom as the rose. 

I only remark in closing this somewhat rambling appendix, that I was ap- 
pointed Commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned 
Lands, for North Carolina, but am to be relieved at my own request by General 
Howard, who has designated Lieut. Col. E. Whittlesey as Commissioner for North 
Carolina, with his headquarters at Raleigh. For a short time longer my labors 
will be associated with his. I am most happy to turn over these duties to a 
gentleman so admirably qualified to discharge them. 

An expression of gratitude is due to my assistants, Mr. Samuel S. Ashley, at 
Wilmington, Mr. Frederic A. Fiske, at Morehead City, and Mr. Edward E. 
Johnson, of New Berne, for the diligence and fidelity with which they have 
discharged their duties. 


Capt., and A. Q. M., 
Assist. Com'r Bur. of Eef s Freedmen and Aban. Lands.